Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.


Jekyll or hide?

Many bacteria can adopt different lifestyles: in a free-living state, they are virulent and cause disease; in a surface-attached community, they are less virulent but may go unnoticed. How is this ‘decision’ made?

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Rent or buy this article

Get just this article for as long as you need it


Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Figure 1: Persistence versus infection.


  1. Goodman, A. L. et al. Dev. Cell 7, 745–754 (2004).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Post, J. C., Stoodley, P. & Hall-Stoodley, L. Curr. Opin. Otolaryngol. Head Neck Surg. 12, 3185–3190 (2004).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Friedman, L. & Kolter, R. J. Bacteriol. 186, 4457–4465 (2004).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Friedman, L. & Kolter, R. Mol. Microbiol. 51, 675–690 (2004).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Jackson, K. D., Starkey, M., Kremer, S., Parsek, M. R. & Wozniak, D. J. J. Bacteriol. 186, 4466–4475 (2004).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Matsukawa, M. & Greenberg, E. P. J. Bacteriol. 186, 4449–4456 (2004).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Singh, P. K., Parsek, M. R., Greenberg, E. P. & Welsh, M. J. Nature 417, 552–555 (2002).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. O'Toole, G. A. & Kolter, R. Mol. Microbiol. 30, 295–304 (1998).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Irie, Y., Mattoo, S. & Yuk, M. H. J. Bacteriol. 186, 5692–5698 (2004).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. Kuchma, S. L., Connolly, J. P. & O'Toole, G. A. J. Bacteriol. (in the press).

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

O'Toole, G. Jekyll or hide?. Nature 432, 680–681 (2004).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing