“Grazing” Amoeba Killing Biofilm-Protected Bacteria

Date Published: April 18, 2017
Source: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/04/170418120831.htm
Author: David Tenenbaum

Summary:
A research study finds that a particular group of amoeba called the dictyostelids are capable of penetrating biofilms in order to eat the microbes underneath. The researchers observed how these organisms deconstructed the biofilms of certain pathogenic bacteria. In the article they also mused about how they can utilize these findings to advance medical science.

Connections:
This article talked about biofilm and how these amoeba group are able to get through these protective mesh made by bacteria.

Critical Analysis:
This article had ideas that really resonated with me, especially the part where they talked about figuring out how these amoeba species are deconstructing the biofilms of these bacteria, and how we could use that for our own bodies as some sort of pathogenic microbe hunter. If we could find out what kind of processes penetrate biofilms, then we can target pathogenic bacteria in our bodies and safely remove it in our system. But then again, that’s the best case scenario.

Question(s):
Would it be risky for us to mimic how this particular amoeba group approach bacteria and use it in our bodies as some sort of an immune function? What would be the worst case scenario? Would it also affect the good bacteria that helps us live a healthy daily life?

1 Comment for ““Grazing” Amoeba Killing Biofilm-Protected Bacteria”

hkmckee

says:

I agree that it would be great to use this new knowledge to attack biofilms within our body such as those that cause bladder infections. In addition, this could be used for environmental purposes such as filtering systems for water. If you are able to remove a biofilm quickly, there might be more economical ways to make safe drinking water.
It would require proper research to determine whether or not the amoebas that clear biofilms could cause an infection of their own. An e. coli biofilm is what causes a urinary tract infection so the amoeba would eliminate the film. If the amoeba targets more than just the e. coli, it could make the person more susceptible to other types of overgrowth.

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