Predatory bacteria: a potential ally against multidrug-resistant Gram-negative pathogens

PLoS One. 2013 May 1;8(5):e63397. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0063397. Print 2013.


Multidrug-resistant (MDR) Gram-negative bacteria have emerged as a serious threat to human and animal health. Bdellovibrio spp. and Micavibrio spp. are Gram-negative bacteria that prey on other Gram-negative bacteria. In this study, the ability of Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus and Micavibrio aeruginosavorus to prey on MDR Gram-negative clinical strains was examined. Although the potential use of predatory bacteria to attack MDR pathogens has been suggested, the data supporting these claims is lacking. By conducting predation experiments we have established that predatory bacteria have the capacity to attack clinical strains of a variety of ß-lactamase-producing, MDR Gram-negative bacteria. Our observations indicate that predatory bacteria maintained their ability to prey on MDR bacteria regardless of their antimicrobial resistance, hence, might be used as therapeutic agents where other antimicrobial drugs fail.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acinetobacter baumannii / physiology*
  • Alphaproteobacteria / physiology*
  • Antibiosis
  • Bdellovibrio / physiology*
  • Disk Diffusion Antimicrobial Tests
  • Drug Resistance, Multiple, Bacterial
  • Escherichia coli / physiology*
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae / physiology*
  • Microbial Viability
  • Pseudomonas / physiology*