Natalie Verstraeten

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Swarming is the fastest known bacterial mode of surface translocation and enables the rapid colonization of a nutrient-rich environment and host tissues. This complex multicellular behavior requires the integration of chemical and physical signals, which leads to the physiological and morphological differentiation of the bacteria into swarmer cells. Here,(More)
Members of the large superclass of P-loop GTPases share a core domain with a conserved three-dimensional structure. In eukaryotes, these proteins are implicated in various crucial cellular processes, including translation, membrane trafficking, cell cycle progression, and membrane signaling. As targets of mutation and toxins, GTPases are involved in the(More)
Obg proteins (also known as ObgE, YhbZ and CgtA) are conserved P-loop GTPases, essential for growth in bacteria. Like other GTPases, Obg proteins cycle between a GTP-bound ON and a GDP-bound OFF state, thereby controlling cellular processes. Interestingly, the in vitro biochemical properties of Obg proteins suggest that they act as sensors for the cellular(More)
Persister cells display tolerance to high doses of bactericidal antibiotics and typically comprise a small fraction of a bacterial population. Recently, evidence was provided for a causal link between therapy failure and the presence of persister cells in chronic infections, underscoring the need for research on bacterial persistence. A series of recent(More)
Within bacterial populations, a small fraction of persister cells is transiently capable of surviving exposure to lethal doses of antibiotics. As a bet-hedging strategy, persistence levels are determined both by stochastic induction and by environmental stimuli called responsive diversification. Little is known about the mechanisms that link the low(More)
Any bacterial population harbors a small number of phenotypic variants that survive exposure to high concentrations of antibiotic. Importantly, these so-called 'persister cells' compromise successful antibiotic therapy of bacterial infections and are thought to contribute to the development of antibiotic resistance. Intriguingly, drug-tolerant persisters(More)
UNLABELLED Programmed cell death (PCD) is an important hallmark of multicellular organisms. Cells self-destruct through a regulated series of events for the benefit of the organism as a whole. The existence of PCD in bacteria has long been controversial due to the widely held belief that only multicellular organisms would profit from this kind of altruistic(More)
In nature, bacteria predominantly reside in structured, surface-attached communities embedded in a self-produced, extracellular matrix. These so-called biofilms play an important role in the development and pathogenesis of many infections, as they are difficult to eradicate due to their resistance to antimicrobials and host defense mechanisms. This review(More)
Persister cells are phenotypic variants that are extremely tolerant to high concentrations of antibiotics. They constitute a fraction of stationary phase cultures and biofilm populations of numerous bacterial species, such as the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Even though persisters are believed to be an important cause of incomplete(More)
OBJECTIVES Biofilm-associated implant infections represent a serious public health problem. Covalent immobilization of antimicrobial agents on titanium (Ti), thereby inhibiting biofilm formation of microbial pathogens, is a solution to this problem. METHODS Vancomycin (VAN) and caspofungin (CAS) were covalently bound on Ti substrates using an improved(More)