1887

Abstract

In the last 70 years, we have seen a radical change in our perception and understanding of the microbial world. During this period, we learned from Woese and Fox there exists a third kingdom called ‘Archea’ based on the phylogenetic studies of the 16S rRNA that revolutionized microbiology ( Woese & Fox, 1977 ; Woese , 1978 ). Furthermore, we were forced to reckon with the fact that Koch and Pasteur's way of growing cells in test-tubes or flasks planktonically does not necessarily translate to the real-life scenario of bacterial lifestyle, where they prefer to live and function as a closely knit microbial community called biofilm. Thanks are due to Costerton, who led the crusade on the concept of biofilms and expanded its scope of inquiry, which forced scientists and clinicians worldwide to rethink how we evaluate and apply the data. Then progressively, disbelief turned into belief, and now it is universally accepted that the micro-organisms hobnob with the members of their community to communicate and coordinate their behaviour, especially in regard to growth patterns and virulence traits via signalling molecules. Just when we thought that we were losing the battle against bacteria, antimicrobials were discovered. We then witnessed the rise and fall of antibiotics and the development of antibiotic resistance. Due to space and choice limitation, we will focus on the three areas that caused this major paradigm shift (i) antimicrobial resistance (AMR), (ii) biofilm and (iii) quorum sensing (QS), and how the played a major role in advancing the shift.

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2015-12-01
2019-12-15
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