by Michael Byrne,


A recent paper released in the journal “Nature Communications”, has found that harmful bacterium spread more quickly when isolated from other neighboring bacteria. The paper, which observed mutation rates of bacteria such as E. coli, noticed that such rates increase proportionately to the amount of bacterial “friends” it had surrounding it.

When in close proximity, bacteria do in fact communicate and produce signals which are picked up and interpreted by one another. When there is a sufficient volume of bacteria in close proximity, the bacteria reach the quorum threshold, which can lead to rapid multiplication, but a decline in their rate of mutation.

This observation has a number of implications in the fight against antibacterial resistant superbugs, as outlined in the article below.

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