What can we learn on resilience from bacteria ?

Margarita Skopeliti
5 min readSep 21, 2020
Found in Science Focus link

An antibiotic is designed to target a molecule inside a bacterium, a molecule related and critical to proliferation or survival.

In presence of an antibiotic, bacterial growth or proliferation is inhibited. Their numbers decrease and so a bacterial infection is controlled.

Yet, not all bacteria die.

Some resist and manage to survive. Some bacterial endure while in the presence of the antibiotic and show resilience. Over time the resilient bacteria grow in numbers and overtake space and medium their lost companions had freed up.

Studies have revealed many mechanisms that can turn a bacterium resistant to the effect of antibiotics. It helps me remember them by grouping them in two.

Group #1 mechanisms: The battle at the gate

The first frontier bacteria battle is its entry into the cell. For the antibiotic to work it must get inside the cell and bind to its target, so bacteria fight hard defending their boundaries prohibiting the antibiotic to enter.

What do bacteria do at this stage in simple words?

· Build new, stronger walls

· Close the entry gates

· Grab them and return them back out



Margarita Skopeliti

In clinical research in the morning. In clarity research afterwards. Love reading, writing and drinking coffee!Grateful for tips at ko-fi.com/margaritaskopeliti