Navigation Links
Finding new ways to tackle environmental diseases
Date:12/23/2010

Researchers at the University of Exeter have developed a new approach to studying potentially deadly disease-causing bacteria which could help speed up the process of finding vaccines.

Dr Andrea Dowling, from the Centre for Ecology and Conservation at the university's Cornwall Campus, has pioneered a simple screen which can help isolate the virulent parts of the gene structures of pathogenic* bacteria.

The screen allows researchers to simultaneously run thousands of tests where genes from the pathogen are pitted against the human blood cells that normally attack them.

"By looking at the results from these tests it is possible to determine which parts of a pathogen's genetic code allow it to override immune systems," said Dr Dowling.

"From there we can focus in on those key areas to find out how the pathogen works and how we can develop vaccines. The screen allows us to study and tackle the causes of disease and infection much quicker than other methods."

The screen has been used by Dr Dowling and other researchers at Exeter to look at genes in the important pathogen, Burkholderia pseudomallei**, which causes the potentially deadly human disease, melioidosis. The research is published in the journal, PLoS ONE.

Burkholderia appears to be able to infect man directly from the environment via cuts and grazes. Normally any invading bacteria would be consumed by the body's immune system, but Burkholderia bacteria seem to resist being eaten and can spread to other parts of the body in a very nasty infection.

Using the screen, the researchers were able to isolate the unique parts of Burkholderia's genetic code which could be responsible for its resistance to the human immune system.

Dr Dowling explained: "We used library-clones which each contain a genetic region of Burkholderia, and then studied each one's ability to kill immune cells to find what are known as virulence factors basically the parts which allow it to override the immune system. Using the screen, we established the potential locations of that virulence factor much quicker than using normal methods.

"We can then study the mechanism for these factors using microbiological, cellular and biochemical techniques to see whether disrupting the virulence factor reduces the abilities of this bacteria to overcome the immune system."

Professor Richard Ffrench-Constant, a co-author of the research, said: "Knowledge gained from this research provides essential insights into how this poorly understood, but extremely serious human pathogen works to cause disease, and, crucially, it helps us identify candidates for the development of much needed vaccines."

The techniques used for this research are not only important in looking at Burkholderia, but can also be used on many other pathogens.


'/>"/>

Contact: Daniel Williams
d.d.williams@exeter.ac.uk
44-139-272-2062
University of Exeter
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Findings suggest new cause, possible treatment for multiple sclerosis
2. Biomedical and health professionals converge in D.C. to absorb new findings in science of informatics
3. Listeria clever at finding its way into bloodstream, causing sickness
4. Unexpected findings of lead exposure may lead to treating blindness
5. Gynecologist disputes findings
6. New findings pull back curtain on relationship between iron and Alzheimers disease
7. MBL scientists reveal findings of World Ocean Microbe Census
8. Chromosomal break gives scientists a break in finding new puberty gene
9. Most complete beer proteome finding could lead to engineered brews
10. New VARI findings next step to growing drought-resistant plants
11. Findings overturn old theory of phytoplankton growth, raise concerns for ocean productivity
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/23/2017)... GENOA, Italy , May 23, 2017  Hunova, the first robotic ... and trunk, has been officially launched in Genoa, Italy ... Europe and the USA . The ... launched on the market by the IIT spin-off Movendo Technology thanks to ... view the Multimedia News Release, please click: ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... 2017 The global military biometrics ... marked by the presence of several large global players. ... five major players - 3M Cogent, NEC Corporation, M2SYS ... nearly 61% of the global military biometric market in ... global military biometrics market boast global presence, which has ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... , April 11, 2017 Crossmatch®, ... secure authentication solutions, today announced that it has ... Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) to develop next-generation ... program. "Innovation has been a driving ... Thor program will allow us to innovate and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... partners with the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries to improve patient outcomes and quality ... Several trends in analytical testing are being attributed to new regulatory requirements for ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... ... wash is a basic first aid supply for any work environment, but most personal eye ... first if a dangerous substance enters both eyes? It’s one less decision, and likely quicker ... eye piece. , “Whether its dirt and debris, or an acid or alkali, getting anything ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... and LAGUNA HILLS, Calif. , Oct. 11, ... Research, London (ICR) and University of ... SkylineDx,s prognostic tool to risk-stratify patients with multiple myeloma (MM), ... nine . The University of Leeds ... funded by Myeloma UK, and ICR will perform the testing ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... ... San Diego-based team building and cooking events company, Lajollacooks4u, has unveiled a ... new look is part of a transformation to increase awareness, appeal to new markets ... It will also expand its service offering from its signature gourmet cooking classes and ...
Breaking Biology Technology: