University of Massachusetts Medical School Faculty Publications


The normalcy of dormancy: common themes in microbial quiescence

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Microbiology and Physiological Systems

Publication Date


Document Type



Bacteria; Drug Resistance, Microbial; Fungi; *Stress, Physiological


Microbial Physiology


All microorganisms are exposed to periodic stresses that inhibit growth. Many bacteria and fungi weather these periods by entering a hardy, nonreplicating state, often termed quiescence or dormancy. When this occurs during an infection, the resulting slowly growing pathogen is able to tolerate both immune insults and prolonged antibiotic exposure. While the stresses encountered in a free-living environment may differ from those imposed by host immunity, these growth-limiting conditions impose common pressures, and many of the corresponding microbial responses appear to be universal. In this review, we discuss the common features of these growth-limited states, which suggest new approaches for treating chronic infections such as tuberculosis.

DOI of Published Version



Rittershaus ES, Baek SH, Sassetti CM. The normalcy of dormancy: common themes in microbial quiescence. Cell Host Microbe. 2013 Jun 12;13(6):643-51. doi:10.1016/j.chom.2013.05.012. Link to article on publisher's site

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Cell host and microbe

PubMed ID