One particular type of autoinducer, the AI-2, which requires the presence of a single gene, the LuxS, is found in many different bacteria strains. It is the AI-2 molecule that enables conversations not only among but also between bacteria species.
It is also this AI-2/LuxS link that is cause for great hope. While researchers and scientists have made great strides on some illnesses, cures for other bacterial infections remain out of our grasp.
Bassler believes the key to suppressing some of these illnesses may lie in our ability to disrupt the underlying bacterium's ability to communicate with one another.
Mucking with communication systems has often been a key element of spy versus spy combat. Now that we understand more about their networking capabilities, why not use the same approach in our assault on disease-causing bacteria?
Understanding that potentially deadly bugs remain idle in our systems until they have amassed the critical number needed to clobber our immune systems and poison us, perhaps we can keep illness at bay by messing with their social networks.