Multidrug Tolerance - Relevance To Chronic Infections

Relevance To Chronic Infections

Multidrug tolerance is caused by a small subpopulation of microbial cells termed persisters. Persisters are not mutants, but rather are dormant cells that can survive the antimicrobial treatments that kill the majority of their genetically identical siblings. Persister cells have entered a non- or extremely slow-growing physiological state which makes them insensitive (refractory or tolerant) to the action of antimicrobial drugs. When such persisting microbial cells cannot be eliminated by the immune system, they become a reservoir from which recurrence of infection will develop. Indeed, it appears that persister cells are the main cause for relapsing and chronic infections. Chronic infections can affect people of any age, health, or immune status.

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