Jean-Marc Ghigo
Genetics of Biofilms Unit
Institut Pasteur 25-28 rue du docteur Roux, 75015 Paris
 
Research area of the Unit
 
Biofilms are mixed communities of microorganisms developing on surfaces in all environments. Besides their positive ecological roles, biofilms formed on medical implants are difficult to eradicate and constitute an important cause of chronic and nosocomial infections.
Our research addresses 2 main questions: how do bacteria form biofilms? And what do biofilm bacteria do once the biofilm is formed? Indeed, growth on surfaces induces novel behaviors such as a characteristic increased tolerance to antibiotics and the study of biofilm lifestyle reveals new or under-explored aspects of bacterial biology.
Using commensal and pathogenic bacteria (Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa), we study properties of mono- or multi-species biofilm communities and we also develop projects at the interface between fundamental and clinical research to identify original biofilm control strategies.
 
Contribution to the programme
 
The UGB will contribute to the IBEID LABex by investigating communication, signaling metabolism and biofilm-specific properties such as antibiotic resistance in the context of mono and mixed-species bacterial biofilm. UGB will use multidisciplinary approaches combining genetics, imaging, physico-chemical and in vitro and in vivo models that are already accessible in the laboratory or on the Institut Pasteur campus. The development of these projects will lay the grounds for a comprehensive understanding of the ability of both commensal and pathogenic E. coli to form biofilms. These approaches, often positioned at the interface between fundamental and clinical or applied research, could also reveal unsuspected biological resources used by bacterial communities, potentially leading to original biofilm control strategies.
 
References over the past 5 years
1.      Chauhan A.; Lebeaux, D.; Decante, B.;  Kriegel, I.; Escande, M.C.; Ghigo J.M. and C. Beloin. (2012)  A rat model of long-term indwelling device reveals the importance of immune system in controlling biofilm establishment and related infections. PloS ONE. In press.
2.      Bernier, S. ; Létoffé, S. ; Delepierre, M and Ghigo J.M.. (2011) Biogenic ammonia modifies antibiotic resistance at a distance in physically separated bacteria. Molecular Microbiology81:705-716.
3.      Rendueles, O. ; Travier, L. ; Latour-Lambert, P. ; Fontaine, T. ; Magnus, J. ; Denamur, E.  and Ghigo J.M. (2011) Screening Escherichia coli species biodiversity reveals new biofilm-associated anti-adhesion polysaccharides. mBio 00043-11
4.      Korea, C. G., Badouraly, R., Prevost, M. C., Ghigo, J. M. and Beloin, C. (2010) Escherichia coli K-12 possesses multiple cryptic but functional chaperone-usher fimbriae with distinct surface specificities Environ Microbiol.12:1957-77.
5.      Le Quere, B. and Ghigo, J. M. (2009) BcsQ is an essential component of the Escherichia coli cellulose biosynthesis apparatus that localizes at the bacterial cell pole Mol Microbiol.72:724-40.
6.      Beloin, C., Houry, A., Froment, M., Ghigo, J. M. and Henry, N. (2008) A short-time scale colloidal system reveals early bacterial adhesion dynamics PLoS Biol.6:e167.
7.      Valle, J., Mabbett, A. N., Ulett, G. C., Toledo-Arana, A., Wecker, K., Totsika, M., Schembri, M. A., Ghigo, J. M. and Beloin, C. (2008) UpaG, a new member of the trimeric autotransporter family of adhesins in uropathogenic Escherichia coli J Bacteriol.190:4147-61.