Home  |  Top News  |  Most Popular  |  Video  |  Multimedia  |  News Feeds  |  Feedback
  Medicine  |  Nature & Earth  |  Biology  |  Technology & Engineering  |  Space & Planetary  |  Psychology  |  Physics & Chemistry  |  Economics  |  Archaeology
Top > Medicine, Health Care > Scientists Target Bacterial Transfer of… >
Scientists Target Bacterial Transfer of Resistance Genes

Published: October 24, 2012.
By University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
http://www.uiuc.edu

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — The bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae – which can cause pneumonia, meningitis, bacteremia and sepsis – likes to share its antibiotic-defeating weaponry with its neighbors. Individual cells can pass resistance genes to one another through a process called horizontal gene transfer, or by "transformation," the uptake of DNA from the environment.

Now researchers report that they can interrupt the cascade of cellular events that allows S. pneumoniae to swap or suck up DNA. The new findings, reported in the journal PLoS ONE, advance the effort to develop a reliable method for shutting down the spread of drug resistance in bacteria.

"Within the last few decades, S. pneumoniae has developed resistance to several classes of antibiotics," said University of Illinois pathobiology professor Gee Lau, who led the study. "Importantly, it has been shown that antibiotic stress – the use of antibiotics to treat an infection – can actually induce the transfer of resistance genes among S. pneumoniae. Our approach inhibits resistance gene transfer in all strains of S. pneumoniae, and does so without increasing selective pressure and without increasing the likelihood that resistant strains will become dominant."

Lau and his colleagues focused on blocking a protein that, when it binds to a receptor in the bacterial cell membrane, spurs a series of events in the cell that makes the bacterium "competent" to receive new genetic material. The researchers hypothesized that interfering with this protein (called CSP) would hinder its ability to promote gene transfer.

In previous work published late last year in the journal PLoS Pathogens, Lau's team identified proteins that could be made in the lab that were structurally very similar to the CSP proteins. These artificial CSPs can dock with the membrane receptors, block the bacterial CSPs' access to the receptors and reduce bacterial competence, as well as reducing the infectious capacity of S. pneumoniae.

In the new study, the researchers fine-tuned the amino acid structure of more than a dozen artificial CSPs and tested how well they inhibited the S. pneumoniae CSPs. They also tested their ability (or, more desirably, their inability) to mimic the activity of CSPs in bacterial cells.

"The chemical properties of individual amino acids in a protein can greatly influence the protein's activity," Lau said.

The team identified several artificial CSPs that both inhibited the bacterial CSPs and reduced S. pneumoniae competence by more than 90 percent.

"This strategy will likely help us reduce the spread of antibiotic-resistance genes among S. pneumoniae and perhaps other species of streptococcus bacteria," Lau said.




Translate this page: Chinese French German Italian Japanese Korean Portuguese Russian Spanish


 
All comments are reviewed before being posted. We cannot accept messages that refer a product, or web site.If you are looking for a response to a question please use our another feedback page.
Related »

Toxins 
11/7/14 
New Treatment for Life-threatening Bacterial Diseases Identified
By University of Liverpool
Published in Nature Biotechnology, the study at the University of Liverpool showed that specially engineered lipid (fat) bodies, called liposomes, can be used to prevent bacterial toxins from killing …
Infections 
7/3/12 
★★★ 
Toward an Alternative for Antibiotics to Fight Bacterial Infections?
By VIB (the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology)
VIB researcher Mohamed Lamkanfi, connected to the Ghent University, discovered that mice that do not produce the receptor protein NLRP6, are better protected against bacterial infections and can easier …
Bacteria 
9/12/12 
Novel Non-antibiotic Agents Against MRSA And Common Strep Infections
By Case Western Reserve University
Menachem Shoham, PhD, associate professor of biochemistry at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, has discovered novel antivirulence drugs that, without killing the bacteria, render Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus …
Hickok 
10/2/14 
MRSA Biofilms in Joint Fluid Make Infections Tough to Tackle
By Thomas Jefferson University
PHILADELPHIA, PA – Physicians have long speculated at the hard-to-treat nature of joint infection. In an article published in Journal of Infectious Diseases, Thomas Jefferson University scientists, in collaboration …
Imaging 
10/22/14 
A Real-time Tracking System Developed to Monitor Dangerous Bacteria Inside the Body
By Johns Hopkins Medicine
Combining a PET scanner with a new chemical tracer that selectively tags specific types of bacteria, Johns Hopkins researchers working with mice report they have devised a way to …
Protein 
5/6/14 

Genetic Risk Factor for Premature Birth Found
By University of California - San Diego
Test 
7/2/13 
Test Accurately And Swiftly Detect Most Leading Causes of Bacterial Blood Stream Infection
By Public Library of Science
A new automated diagnostic test can quickly and accurately identify most leading causes of Gram-positive bacterial blood stream infections and the presence of three antibiotic resistance genes, according to …
Wellcome 
1/27/11 
★★★★ 
Staying 1 Strep Ahead
By Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute
New research provides the first detailed genetic picture of an evolutionary war between Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria and the vaccines and antibiotics used against it over recent decades. Large-scale genome …
More » 
 
© Newsline Group  |  About  |  Privacy Policy  |  Feedback  |  Mobile  |  Japanese Edition