Bacteria usually live in complex environments, sharing niche and resources with other bacterial species, unicellular eukaryotic cells or complex organisms. Thus, they have evolved mechanisms to communicate, to compete and to adapt to changing environment as diverse as human tissues, animals or plants. Understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying these adaptation processes is therefore of primary importance for epidemiology and human health protection, and was the focus of a Current Trends in Biomedicine workshop organized by the International University of Andalucia in late October 2015 in Baeza (Spain). The topic was covered by complementary sessions: (i) interbacterial communication and competition that enable a better access to nutrients or a more efficient colonization of the ecological niche, (ii) adaptation of intracellular pathogens to their host, focusing on metabolic pathways, adaptive mechanisms and populational heterogeneity, and (iii) adaptation of animal and plant pathogens as well as plant-associated bacteria to a plant niche. This workshop emphasized the broad repertoire of mechanisms and factors bacteria have evolved to become efficient pathogens.
Keywords: bacterial antagonism; bacterial cooperation; bistability; competition; epigenetics; host-pathogen interactions; metabolism activation; mutations; population heterogeneity; post-translational modifications; regulation; suicide strategy.