Susceptibility of virulent yersinia pestis bacteria to predator bacteria in the lungs of mice

Riccardo Russo, Irina Kolesnikova, Thomas Kim, Shilpi Gupta, Androulla Pericleous, Daniel E. Kadouri, Nancy D. Connell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Multi-drug resistant bacterial infections are a serious threat to global public health. Changes in treatment modalities and prudent use of antibiotics can assist in reducing the threat, but new approaches are also required for untreatable cases. The use of predatory bacteria, such as Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus, is among the novel approaches being considered as possible therapeutics for antibiotic resistant and/or unidentified bacterial infections. Previous studies have examined the feasibility of using predatory bacteria to reduce colony-forming units (CFUs) in the lungs of rats exposed to lethal doses of Klebsiella pneumoniae; here we apply the approach to the Tier 1 select agent Yersinia pestis, and show that three doses of B. bacteriovorus introduced every six hours reduces the number of CFUs of Y. pestis in the lungs of inoculated mice by 86% after 24 h of infection. These experiments further demonstrate that predatory bacteria may serve to combat Gram negative bacterial infections, including those considered potential bioweapon agents, in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2019


  • Bdellovibrio
  • Lung infection
  • Predatory bacteria
  • Select agent countermeasure
  • Yersinia pestis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Virology
  • Microbiology (medical)

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