Navigation Links
Bacterial slime helps cause serious disease

Leptospirosis is a serious but neglected emerging disease that infects humans through contaminated water. Now research published in the May issue of the journal Microbiology shows for the first time how bacteria that cause the disease survive in the environment.

Leptospirosis is a major public health problem in South East Asia and South America, with over 500,000 severe cases every year. Between 5% and 20% of these cases are fatal. Rats and other mammals carry the disease-causing pathogen Leptospira interrogans in their kidneys. When they urinate, they contaminate surface water with the bacteria, which can survive in the environment for long periods.

This led us to see if the bacteria build a protective casing around themselves for protection, said Professor Mathieu Picardeau from the Institut Pasteur in Paris, France. Previously, scientists believed the bacteria were planktonic, living freely in the water. But Professor Picardeau and his team have shown that L. interrogans can make biofilms, which could be one of the main factors controlling survival and disease transmission.

Many different bacteria make biofilms, which protect them against harsh conditions and make them more resistant to antibiotics. They do this by producing a slime, in which the colony can grow unharmed. 90% of the species of Leptospira we tested could form biofilms. It takes L. interrogans an average of 20 days to make a biofilm, said Professor Picardeau.

This ability may contribute to the long-term survival of the bacteria in environmental water and even help them cause disease in humans. Biofilm formation might also play an important role in keeping the bacteria alive in the kidneys of animals such as rats without causing disease.

This finding is a step forward in our understanding of Leptospirosis. We now need to study the mechanism of biofilm formation in both fresh water and renal tubules in animal kidneys, said Professor Picardeau. We hope our research will lead to the identification of new strategies to diagnose and prevent this neglected emerging disease.


Contact: Lucy Goodchild
Society for General Microbiology

Related biology news :

1. Tomato pathogen genome may offer clues about bacterial evolution
2. Biologists surprised to find parochial bacterial viruses
3. Biochemists reveal details of mysterious bacterial microcompartments
4. Tomato pathogen genome may offer clues about bacterial evolution at dawn of agriculture
5. Bacterial infections in premature babies more common than previously realized
6. New drug targets may fight tuberculosis and other bacterial infections in novel way
7. Small RNA plays parallel roles in bacterial metabolism
8. Scripps research team blocks bacterial communication system to prevent deadly staph infections
9. Legionnaires bacterial proteins work together to survive
10. Deadly dose: Rensselaer heparin expert helps uncover source of lethal contamination
11. Underwater microscope helps prevent shellfish poisoning along Gulf Coast of Texas
Post Your Comments:
(Date:4/11/2017)... BROOKLYN, N.Y. , April 11, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ ... identical fingerprints, but researchers at the New York ... University College of Engineering have found that partial ... fingerprint-based security systems used in mobile phones and ... previously thought. The vulnerability lies in ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... , April 5, 2017 Today HYPR ... that the server component of the HYPR platform is ... providing the end-to-end security architecture that empowers biometric authentication ... HYPR has already secured over 15 million users across ... manufacturers of connected home product suites and physical access ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... March 30, 2017  On April 6-7, 2017, ... Genome hackathon at Microsoft,s headquarters in ... will focus on developing health and wellness apps that ... Hack the Genome is the first hackathon for ... world,s largest companies in the genomics, tech and health ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 12, 2017 , ... DuPont Pioneer and recently formed CasZyme, ... into a multiyear collaboration to identify and characterize novel CRISPR-Cas nucleases. The goal ... editing across all applications. , Under the terms of the agreement, Pioneer will ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries to improve patient outcomes and quality of life, ... in analytical testing are being attributed to new regulatory requirements for all new ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... its endogenous context, enabling overexpression experiments and avoiding the use of exogenous expression ... guides is transformative for performing systematic gain-of-function studies. , This complement to ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... it will be hosting a Webinar titled, “Pathology is going digital. Is your ... on digital pathology adoption best practices and how Proscia improves lab economics and ...
Breaking Biology Technology: