“Communication is an art which leads a community”. We imagine bacteria as a unicellular and omnipresent organism sustaining a very asocial, secluded life. But surprisingly, bacteria are more social than previously thought. Bacteria communicate in their chemical language and this process is known as Quorum sensing.
This phenomenon was first discovered in a marine bacterium Vibrio harveyi which possesses an amazing trait of bioluminescence. Individual bacteria secrete chemical messengers called autoinducers into the environment. With the growth of bacterial colony, the concentration of these signaling molecules increases and the bacteria glows intensely. Bacteria never act as individuals but, always in communities. It is intriguing how they follow the All or None principle. Bacteria are multilingual – they not only communicate with their own species but also, with many other species by releasing different autoinducers.
Quorum Sensing – the group behavior of the bacteria is a determinant of its virulence. Antibiotics are used to curb the rising tide of bacteria but, antibiotic resistance crisis is plaguing the efficacy of these magic bullets. Quorum sensing inhibition i.e. Quorum quenching is now directed to disrupt the bacterial communication, prevent the release of toxins and combat virulence.
Quorum sensing inhibitors serve as a new weapon to the drug resistant superbugs. It is a new avenue to venture in the field of therapeutics. Quorum sensing has exciting implications for medicine, the pharmaceutical industries and understanding of ourselves. This fascinating theory of Quorum sensing sheds light on the fact that – Unity is strength, Division is weakness.