Navigation Links
Breakthrough in the treatment of bacterial meningitis
Date:5/13/2009

It can take just hours after the symptoms appear for someone to die from bacterial meningitis. Now, after years of research, experts at The University of Nottingham have finally discovered how the deadly meningococcal bacteria is able to break through the body's natural defence mechanism and attack the brain.

The discovery could lead to better treatment and vaccines for meningitis and could save the lives of hundreds of children.

Bacterial meningitis in childhood is almost exclusively caused by the respiratory tract pathogens Streptococcus pneumoniae, Neisseria meningitidis, and Haemophilus influenzae. The mechanism used by these lethal germs to break through the blood brain barrier (BBB) has, until now, been unknown.

The team led by Dlawer Ala'Aldeen, Professor of Clinical Microbiology and Head of the Molecular Bacteriology and Immunology Group at the Centre for Biomolecular Sciences, recently discovered that all three pathogens target the same receptor on human cerebrovascular endothelial cells the specialised filtering system that protects our brain from disease enabling the organisms to cross the blood-brain barrier.

Their findings, published today in The Journal of Clinical Investigation, suggest that disruption or modulation of this interaction of bacterial adhesins with the receptor might offer unexpectedly broad protection against bacterial meningitis and may provide a therapeutic target for the prevention and treatment of disease.

Professor Ala'Aldeen, who has been studying meningitis and its causes for over 20 years, said: "This is a significant breakthrough which will help us design novel strategies for the prevention and treatment of bacterial meningitis. Identification of the human receptor and bacterial ligands is like identifying a mysterious key and its lock, which will open new doors and pave the way for new discoveries."

The research, carried out in collaboration with the Department of Infectious Diseases at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis Tennessee, also involved students from the University who have been regular and willing volunteers in the research programme.

Professor Ala'Aldeen said: "The ultimate aim is to save lives by protecting the healthy and curing the sick. We are one step closer to new breakthroughs that would prevent disease or its complications. There still is a long way to go before we have the ultimate vaccine and the ultimate treatment of bacterial meningitis."


'/>"/>

Contact: Professor Dlawer Ala-Aldeen
daa@nottingham.ac.uk
44-115-823-0748
University of Nottingham
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. New technique can be breakthrough for early cancer diagnosis
2. Breakthrough research identifies how cells from pigs may cure diabetes
3. Male contraception breakthroughs to be presented, Seattle Sept. 27-28
4. Major genetic breakthrough for ankylosing spondylitis brings treatment hope
5. Oosight microscope enables embryonic stem cell breakthrough
6. Brain-computer link systems on the brink of breakthrough, study finds
7. Breakthrough technology observes synapse in real time, supporting theory of vesicular recycling
8. Medical breakthrough for organ transplants and cardiovascular diseases by Flemish researchers
9. Genetic breakthrough offers promise in tackling kidney tumors
10. University of Alberta researchers report breakthrough in lowering bad cholesterol, fatty acid levels
11. Further breakthroughs for breast cancer patients
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/3/2016)... VILNIUS, Lithuania , May 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... today released the MegaMatcher Automated Biometric Identification ... deployment of large-scale multi-biometric projects. MegaMatcher ABIS can ... and accuracy using any combination of fingerprint, face ... of MegaMatcher SDK and MegaMatcher ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... , April 28, 2016 Infosys ... (NYSE: INFY ), and Samsung SDS, a global ... that will provide end customers with a more secure, fast ...      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130122/589162 ) , ... but it also plays a fundamental part in enabling and ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... , April 28, 2016 First quarter 2016: ... up 966% compared with the first quarter of 2015 ... SEK 589.1 M (loss: 18.8) and the operating margin was 40% ... 0.32) Cash flow from operations was SEK 249.9 M ... revenue guidance is unchanged, SEK 7,000-8,500 M. The operating ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/4/2016)... CO (PRWEB) , ... May 05, 2016 , ... ... diagnostics, is proud to support the National Stroke Association during National Stroke Awareness ... the association’s Facebook and Twitter pages throughout the month. CereScan will donate ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... ... May 04, 2016 , ... Looking for a gift ... premiere hands-on cooking experience. Offering everything from gourmet cooking classes to weekend culinary ... forget. , Guests that visit LaJollaCooks4u share an experience unlike any other. Each ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... ... , ... Proove Biosciences, Inc. , the commercial and research leader in ... . The partnership is designed to advance research in pain genetics in an effort ... With the new agreement, researchers at Proove Biosciences are able to collaborate with Luda ...
(Date:5/4/2016)...  Bayer today announced that a Phase III ... (regorafenib) tablets for the treatment of patients with ... endpoint of a statistically significant improvement in overall ... and safety of regorafenib in patients with HCC ... The safety and tolerability were generally consistent with ...
Breaking Biology Technology: