Modelling of filamentous phage-induced antibiotic tolerance of P. aeruginosa

Maria van Rossem, Sandra Wilks, Malgosia Kaczmarek, Patrick R. Secor, Giampaolo D’Alessandro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Filamentous molecules tend to spontaneously assemble into liquid crystalline droplets with a tactoid morphology in environments with high concentration on non-adsorbing molecules. Tactoids of filamentous Pf bacteriophage, such as those produced by Pseudomonas aeruginosa, have been linked to increased antibiotic tolerance. We modelled this system and show that tactoids composed of filamentous Pf virions can lead to antibiotic tolerance by acting as an adsorptive diffusion barrier. The continuum model, reminiscent of descriptions of reactive diffusion in porous media, has been solved numerically and good agreement was found with the analytical results, obtained using a homogenisation approach. We find that the formation of tactoids significantly increases antibiotic diffusion times which may lead to stronger antibiotic resistance.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0261482
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number4 April
StatePublished - Apr 2022


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