Bacteria in Fluid Flow

Gilberto C. Padron, Alexander M. Shuppara, Jessica Jae S. Palalay, Anuradha Sharma, Joseph E. Sanfilippo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Bacteria thrive in environments rich in fluid flow, such as the gastrointestinal tract, bloodstream, aquatic systems, and the urinary tract. Despite the importance of flow, how flow affects bacterial life is underappreciated. In recent years, the combination of approaches from biology, physics, and engineering has led to a deeper understanding of how bacteria interact with flow. Here, we highlight the wide range of bacterial responses to flow, including changes in surface adhesion, motility, surface colonization, quorum sensing, virulence factor production, and gene expression. To emphasize the diversity of flow responses, we focus our review on how flow affects four ecologically distinct bacterial species: Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Caulobacter crescentus, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Additionally, we present experimental approaches to precisely study bacteria in flow, discuss how only some flow responses are triggered by shear force, and provide perspective on flow-sensitive bacterial signaling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of bacteriology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2023


  • adhesion
  • bacteria
  • colonization
  • fluid flow
  • gene expression
  • mechanobiology
  • mechanosensing
  • motility
  • quorum sensing
  • virulence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Microbiology


Dive into the research topics of 'Bacteria in Fluid Flow'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this