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:6/15/2016)... 15, 2016 Transparency Market ... Recognition Market by Application Market - Global Industry Analysis Size ... to the report, the  global gesture recognition market ... and is estimated to grow at a CAGR ... 2024.  Increasing application of gesture recognition ...
(Date:6/3/2016)... , June 3, 2016 ... Management) von Nepal ... und Lieferung hochsicherer geprägter Kennzeichen, einschließlich Personalisierung, ... führend in der Produktion und Implementierung von ... der Ausschreibung im Januar teilgenommen, aber Decatur ...
(Date:6/1/2016)... 1, 2016 Favorable Government Initiatives ... and Criminal Identification to Boost Global Biometrics System Market ... TechSci Research report, " Global Biometrics Market By ... and Opportunities, 2011 - 2021", the global biometrics market ... on account of growing security concerns across various end ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 ... Review, 2016;12(1):22-8 http://doi.org/10.17925/OHR.2016.12.01.22 Published ... the peer-reviewed journal from touchONCOLOGY, Andrew D ... cost of cancer care is placing an increasing ... of expensive biologic therapies. With the patents on ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Velocity Products, a division of Morris Group, ... exclusively for Okuma CNC machining centers at The International Manufacturing Technology Show, IMTS, ... companies with expertise in toolholding, cutting tools, machining dynamics and distribution, Velocity SMART ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition ... their offering. The global ... billion in 2013. The market is expected to grow at a ... 2020, increasing from $50.6 billion in 2015 to $96.6 billion in ... forecast period (2015 to 2020) are discussed. As well, new products ...
(Date:6/22/2016)...   ViaCyte, Inc. , a privately-held regenerative medicine ... therapy for the treatment of diabetes in clinical-stage development, ... ISSCR 2016, the Global Stem Cell Event, is taking ... San Francisco.    ... , Focus Session: Tools for Basic and Applied Stem ...
Breaking Biology Technology: