Authors: Shabana (University of the Punjab, Pakistan)
Take a look behind the scenes of a recent Future Microbiology review, entitled: ‘Quorum quenching: role of nanoparticles as signal jammers in Gram-negative bacteria’, as we ask the authors about interrupting quorum sensing and using nanoparticles as antibiotics.
What inspired you to write this review?
Quorum sensing is the bacterial cell-to-cell communication by the release of signaling molecules; theexpression of numerous genes depends on this communication. Nanoparticles have emerged as exciting antimicrobial agents, therefore; their potential to interrupt the cell-to-cell signaling must be explored in order to target numerous infectious agents. The current review was written in order to summarize those efforts and to highlight the potential of nanoweapons as quorum quenchers.
What is quorum quenching and how can it be executed?
Quorum quenching (QQ) is a process resulting in the interruption of quorum sensing. QQ agents can use various quorum quenching strategies to disrupt cell-to-cell communication, for example, one way to inhibit quorum sensing is the degradation of signaling molecules. Many naturally occurring compounds/chemically synthesized compounds or enzymes can act as QQ agents.
What are the main challenges in using nanoparticles as antimicrobial agents?
Although nanoparticles are providing promising and emerging platforms as antimicrobial agents, some of the concerns must be resolved before clinical applications. One of the major challenges is toxicity concern associated with numerous classes of nanomaterials, not only in the human body but also their ecotoxicity. Another challenge is standardization of in vitro experimentations that can provide data one can relate with in vivo conditions.
What recent developments are most promising?
Nanoantibiotics have been discovered in which nanoparticles have been explored for their efficient in-site delivery of the drugs so that required concentrations of the drugs can be reduced with minimum side effects.
What work are you hoping to do/ what do you think needs to be done in this area?
The potential of nanoparticles as QQ agents must be further explored against numerous pathogens at both molecular and genomic level. Moreover, toxicity concerns associated with nanoparticles must be resolved by thorough in vivo and in vitro evaluation.
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