Micro Journal Club

Martin Latterich micro at mendel.berkeley.edu
Sat Oct 15 11:39:35 EST 1994

Dear Fellow Netters:
First, let me re-iterate that journal club suggestions are always
welcome!!! Please mail them to me as soon as you think of something
Ideas for topics of discussion are welcome too. 
Lets begin another topic of discussion of a journal article on Sat.,
Oct. 15st.

The article of choice was suggested by Martin Latterich, U.C. Berkeley.

Jacobs WR Jr; Barletta RG; Udani R; Chan J; Kalkut G; Sosne G; Kieser
       Sarkis GJ; Hatfull GF; Bloom BR.
Rapid assessment of drug susceptibilities of Mycobacterium tuberculosis
means of luciferase reporter phages.
Science, 1993 May 7, 260(5109):819-22.

Effective chemotherapy of tuberculosis requires rapid assessment of
drug sensitivity because of the emergence of multidrug-resistant
Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Drug susceptibility was assessed by a
method based on the efficient production of photons by viable
infected with specific reporter phages expressing the firefly
gene. Light production was dependent on phage infection, expression of
luciferase gene, and the level of cellular adenosine triphosphate.
could be detected within minutes after infection of virulent M.
tuberculosis with reporter phages. Culture of conventional strains with
antituberculosis drugs, including isoniazid or rifampicin, resulted in
extinction of light production. In contrast, light signals after
reporter phage infection of drug-resistant strains continued to be
produced. Luciferase reporter phages may help to reduce the time
for establishing antibiotic sensitivity of M. tuberculosis strains from
weeks to days and to accelerate screening for new antituberculosis

Some other questions to consider:  Has anyone used this method or a
similar approach for antibiotic sensitivity assays or screens for new
antibiotics in bacteria other than M. tuberculosis?  Are there any
antibiotics known at this time that can interfere with the assay but
not necessarily with bacterial survival or growth?
JC disclaimer:  If the author(s) of the paper are listening, please
and correct any errors made during the presentation or discussion of
contents of the article.
Meta Kuehn
kuehn at mendel.berkeley.edu

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