My research focuses on the biofilm mode of bacterial growth. In many chronic infections bacteria live in biofilms rather than as free-living individual organisms. Biofilms are communities of bacteria, living associated with a surface, encased in a polymeric matrix. Biofilm infections include bacterial endocarditis; osteomyelitis; certain skin, urinary and biliary tract infections; dental caries; and most medical device infections. A prototypical example of a biofilm disease is the chronic P. aeruginosa airway infections that afflict patients with cystic fibrosis and other forms of bronchiectasis. Like other biofilm diseases, these infections are extremely difficult to eradicate.
Currently our work focuses on the following areas: We have found that short-term biofilm growth generates extensive genetic diversity in biofilm bacteria, and this process increases the ability of the biofilm community to withstand physiological stress. We are investigating the mechanisms that produce this diversity. We are also studying mechanisms through which bacteria leave established biofilms, and return to the free living state. Interestingly, biofilm bacteria themselves possess active mechanisms to separate from biofilms, and it is possible that these mechanisms could be exploited in therapeutic approaches. We are also investigating other agents that have the potential to inhibit biofilm formation.
Recent Publications from PubMed
- The Depletion Mechanism Actuates Bacterial Aggregation by Exopolysaccharides and Determines Species Distribution & Composition in Bacterial Aggregates.Secor PR, Michaels LA, Bublitz DC, Jennings LK, Singh PKFrontiers in cellular and infection microbiology. 2022 ; 12 : 869736
- Carter SC, Franciosi AN, O'Shea KM, O'Carroll OM, Sharma A, Bell A, Keogan B, O'Reilly P, Coughlan S, Law SM, Gray RD, Hisert KB, Singh PK, Cooke G, Grogan B, De Gascun CF, Gallagher CG, Nicholson TT, Quon BS, McKone EFAnnals of the American Thoracic Society. 2022 Nov; 19 11: 1818-1826
- Morgan SJ, Durfey SL, Ravishankar S, Jorth P, Ni W, Skerrett DT, Aitken ML, McKone EF, Salipante SJ, Radey MC, Singh PKJCI insight. 2021 Dec; 6 24:
- Combining Ivacaftor and Intensive Antibiotics Achieves Limited Clearance of Cystic Fibrosis Infections.Durfey SL, Pipavath S, Li A, Vo AT, Ratjen A, Carter S, Morgan SJ, Radey MC, Grogan B, Salipante SJ, Welsh MJ, Stoltz DA, Goss CH, McKone EF, Singh PKmBio. 2021 Dec; 12 6: e0314821
- Clinical Effectiveness of Elexacaftor/Tezacaftor/Ivacaftor in People with Cystic Fibrosis: A Clinical Trial.Nichols DP, Paynter AC, Heltshe SL, Donaldson SH, Frederick CA, Freedman SD, Gelfond D, Hoffman LR, Kelly A, Narkewicz MR, Pittman JE, Ratjen F, Rosenfeld M, Sagel SD, Schwarzenberg SJ, Singh PK, Solomon GM, Stalvey MS, Clancy JP, Kirby S, Van Dalfsen JM, Kloster MH, Rowe SM,American journal of respiratory and critical care medicine. 2022 Mar; 205 5: 529-539