Bacterial Quorum Sensing Inhibitors: Attractive Alternatives for Control of Infectious Pathogens Showing Multiple Drug Resistance
Ashima K. Bhardwaj, Kittappa Vinothkumar and Neha Rajpara
Affiliation: Department of Human Health and Diseases, Indian Institute of Advanced Research, Koba Institutional Area, Gandhinagar 382 007, Gujarat, India.
Quorum sensing (QS) is a bacterial communication process that depends on the bacterial population density. It
involves small diffusible signaling molecules which activate the expression of myriad genes that control diverse array of
functions like bioluminescence, virulence, biofilm formation, sporulation, to name a few. Since QS is responsible for virulence
in the clinically relevant bacteria, inhibition of QS appears to be a promising strategy to control these pathogenic
bacteria. With indiscriminate use of antibiotics, there has been an alarming increase in the number of antibiotic resistant
pathogens. Antibiotics are no longer the magic bullets they were once thought to be and therefore there is a need for
development of new antibiotics and/or other novel strategies to combat the infections caused by multidrug resistant organisms.
Quorum sensing inhibition or quorum quenching has been pursued as one of such novel strategies. While antibiotics
kill or slow down the growth of bacteria, quorum sensing inhibitors (QSIs) or quorum quenchers (QQs) attenuate bacterial
virulence. A large body of work on QS has been carried out in deadly pathogens like Pseudomonas aeruginosa,
Staphylococcus aureus, Vibrio fischeri, V. harveyi, Escherichia coli and V. cholerae etc to unravel the mechanisms of QS
as well as identify and study QSIs. This review describes various aspects of QS, QSI, different model systems to study
these phenomena and recent patents on various QSIs. It suggests QSIs as attractive alternatives for controlling human,
animal and plant pathogens and their utility in agriculture and other industries.
Keywords: Biofilms, multidrug resistance, patents, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, quorum sensing, quorum sensing inhibitors,
Staphylococcus aureus, Vibrio cholerae, Autoinducer type 1, QS systems
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