Combating Gram-negative AMR pathogens by understanding the envelope-breaching mechanisms of predatory bacteria


  • Prof Liz Sockett

    University of Nottingham

  • Dr Andrew Lovering

    University of Birmingham

Project summary

There is a significant threat to world health from antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections. The majority of these resistant superbugs are Gram-negative, a term that describes the usage of an outer membrane that helps shield the bacteria from the action of antibiotics. It would be advantageous to find new ways of bypassing or compromising this outer membrane. Nature has already found a solution to this problem when bacterial predators hunt and consume other bacteria, but are not harmful to humans. One of these predators, Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus, can burrow through the outer surface of superbugs and consume them from within.

We will investigate the function and coordination of the Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus  when it is breaching its prey.

This information will assist our ultimate goal of making new medicines (be it whole Bdellovibrio, the invasion apparatus, or isolated components) to tackle Gram-negative superbugs when antibiotics are ineffective.