No hiding place for infecting bacteria

Mar 16, 2009

Scientists in Colorado have discovered a new approach to prevent bacterial infections from taking hold. Writing in the Journal of Medical Microbiology, Dr Quinn Parks and colleagues describe how they used enzymes against products of the body's own defence cells to prevent Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria from building a protective biofilm which enables them to avoid both the body's immune mechanisms and antibiotics.

When the body's defence , called neutrophils, attack P. aeruginosa, the cell contents - including a protein called F-actin and the cell's DNA - are released. P. aeruginosa uses these cell proteins as a scaffold to build a protective biofilm making these infections very difficult to treat. P. aeruginosa biofilms cause disease in burns, wounds, contact lens infections and are particularly prevalent in the lungs of patients.

"We specifically targeted the F-actin protein with a negatively charged peptide, and the DNA with the enzyme DNase, which both prevented and disrupted the formation of P. aeruginosa biofilms in the presence of human neutrophils." said Dr Parks. "These results suggest a new combined therapeutic strategy for the treatment of P. aeruginosa infections.

Source: Society for General Microbiology

Explore further: Researchers uncover secrets of internal cell fine-tuning

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Protein opens hope of treatment for cystic fibrosis patients

Sep 11, 2008

Scientists have finally identified a direct role for the missing protein that leaves cystic fibrosis patients open to attack from lung-damaging bacteria, the main reason most of them die before their 35th birthday, scientists ...

Research promising for cystic fibrosis

Mar 18, 2008

New University of Toronto research holds promise for developing innovative therapies against cystic fibrosis and may also serve as a model for future therapies against the HIV virus.

The bacteria can cheat on their mates

Nov 15, 2007

Pursuing our own short term interests by cheating on the rest of the population is not the preserve of the human race. It seems bacteria can operate in just the same way.

Trojan horse strategy defeats drug-resistant bacteria

Mar 16, 2007

A new antimicrobial approach can kill bacteria in laboratory experiments and eliminate life-threatening infections in mice by interfering with a key bacterial nutrient, according to research led by a University of Washington ...

Recommended for you

Sugar mimics guide stem cells toward neural fate

3 hours ago

Embryonic stem cells can develop into a multitude of cells types. Researchers would like to understand how to channel that development into the specific types of mature cells that make up the organs and other structures of ...

Researchers uncover secrets of internal cell fine-tuning

Jul 29, 2014

New research from scientists at the University of Kent has shown for the first time how the structures inside cells are regulated – a breakthrough that could have a major impact on cancer therapy development.

User comments : 0