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Intracellular AIEC LF82 relies on SOS and stringent responses to survive, multiply and tolerate antibiotics

Abstract : Adherent Invasive Escherichia coli (AIEC) strains recovered from Crohn's disease lesions survive and multiply within macrophages. A reference strain for this family, AIEC LF82, forms microcolonies within phagolysosomes, an environment that prevents commensal E. coli multiplication. Little is known about the LF82 intracellular growth status, and signals leading to macrophage intra-vacuolar multiplication. We used single-cell analysis, genetic dissection and mathematical models to monitor the growth status and cell cycle regulation of intracellular LF82. We found that within macrophages, bacteria may replicate or undergo non-growing phenotypic switches. This switch results from stringent response firing immediately after uptake by macrophages or at later stages, following genotoxic damage and SOS induction during intracellular replication. Importantly, non-growers resist treatment with various antibiotics. Thus, intracellular challenges induce AIEC LF82 phenotypic heterogeneity and non-growing bacteria that could provide a reservoir for antibiotic-tolerant bacteria responsible for relapsing infections.
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Gaëlle Demarre, Victoria Prudent, Hanna Schenk, Emilie Rousseau, Marie-Agnès Bringer, et al.. Intracellular AIEC LF82 relies on SOS and stringent responses to survive, multiply and tolerate antibiotics. 2019. ⟨hal-02789654⟩



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