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L-form bacteria, biotechnology and disease

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "ELFBAD" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: KINGS GATE
postcode: NE1 7RU

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country United Kingdom [UK]
 Total cost 2˙428˙621 €
 EC max contribution 2˙428˙621 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2014-ADG
 Funding Scheme ERC-ADG
 Starting year 2015
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2015-10-01   to  2020-09-30


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

Despite the clear importance and multiple functions of the bacterial cell wall, many bacteria appear to be able to switch into a cell wall deficient or “L-form” state. L-forms are very heterogeneous in size and shape and generally require osmotic stabilisers, such as 0.5 M sucrose, for viability. However, by lacking the requirement for a cell wall, L-forms are completely resistant to common cell wall antibiotics, such as β-lactams, and they are probably protected from some elements of innate immune recognition. L-forms are therefore of potential interest in relation to their possible involvement in human disease. They have often been reported in clinical specimens obtained from patients with recurrent or persistent infections or on long term prophylaxis with β-lactam antibiotics. Unfortunately, until recently, most of the work on L-forms had been done in the pre-molecular era, when it was difficult to characterise the L-forms and particularly to identify their origins and relationship with other resident pathogenic bacteria. Recently, several labs have revisited the L-form issue and started to apply modern molecular and cell biological methods. The proposal is divided into three Themes: • Improve our understanding of key features of the L-forms of our best characterised model system, B. subtilis, including both basic science and possible biotechnological applications. • Extend our analysis of basic L-form biology into several diverse bacterial systems, of relevance to both biotechnology and infectious disease. • Explore in detail the possible clinical relevance of L-forms, aiming to identify specific clinical situations in which they are relevant or, at least, to establish model systems in which the interactions between L-form and mammalian systems can be studied.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2016 Romain Mercier, Yoshikazu Kawai, Jeff Errington
Wall proficient E. coli capable of sustained growth in the absence of the Z-ring division machine
published pages: 16091, ISSN: 2058-5276, DOI: 10.1038/nmicrobiol.2016.91
Nature Microbiology 1/8 2019-07-05
2016 Jeff Errington, Katarzyna Mickiewicz, Yoshikazu Kawai, Ling Juan Wu
L-form bacteria, chronic diseases and the origins of life
published pages: 20150494, ISSN: 0962-8436, DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2015.0494
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 371/1707 2019-07-05
2017 Henrik Strahl, Jeff Errington
Bacterial Membranes: Structure, Domains, and Function
published pages: 519-538, ISSN: 0066-4227, DOI: 10.1146/annurev-micro-102215-095630
Annual Review of Microbiology 71/1 2019-07-05
2018 Yoshikazu Kawai, Katarzyna Mickiewicz, Jeff Errington
Lysozyme Counteracts β-Lactam Antibiotics by Promoting the Emergence of L-Form Bacteria
published pages: 1038-1049.e10, ISSN: 0092-8674, DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2018.01.021
Cell 172/5 2019-07-05
2017 Kaveh Emami, Aurelie Guyet, Yoshikazu Kawai, Jenny Devi, Ling J. Wu, Nick Allenby, Richard A. Daniel, Jeff Errington
RodA as the missing glycosyltransferase in Bacillus subtilis and antibiotic discovery for the peptidoglycan polymerase pathway
published pages: 16253, ISSN: 2058-5276, DOI: 10.1038/nmicrobiol.2016.253
Nature Microbiology 2 2019-07-05
2017 Jeff Errington
Cell wall-deficient, L-form bacteria in the 21st century: a personal perspective
published pages: 287-295, ISSN: 0300-5127, DOI: 10.1042/BST20160435
Biochemical Society Transactions 45/2 2019-07-05

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