What is it about?

Small parasitic bacteria called mycoplasmas can move against fluid flow by using their polar cell shape and asymmetric cell binding. The article uses optical microscopy and a microfluidic chamber to observe the bacteria under different flow conditions.

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Why is it important?

The article shows how small bacteria sense and respond to mechanical forces in their native environment. It also provides insights into the role of motility in the pathogenesis of these bacteria, which cause diseases in humans and animals.


Mycoplasma pneumoniae is a common cause of mild respiratory infections. Sometimes these bacteria can cause more serious lung infections that require care in a hospital. Understanding how these bacteria move and interact with their host cells can help us better understand how to prevent and treat infections caused by Mycoplasma pneumoniae and related species.

Daisuke Nakane
The University of Electro-Communications

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Cell shape controls rheotaxis in small parasitic bacteria, PLoS Pathogens, July 2022, PLOS, DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1010648.
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