Navigation Links
Interrupting death messages to treat bone disease

A surface molecule on bacteria that instructs bone cells to die could be the target for new treatments for bone disease, says a scientist speaking at the Society for General Microbiology's autumn meeting today.

Blocking the death signal from bacteria could be a way of treating painful bone infections that are resistant to antibiotics, such as those caused by Meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

Bone disease, or osteomyelitis, affects 1 in 5,000 people around the world. It can occur at any stage in life and attack any bone in the body, where it leads to progressive bone destruction.

Osteomyelitis is usually caused by the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus that lives commonly on human skin and in the nose. It can reach the bones through open wounds or during surgery and most often causes infections in people with compromised immune systems.

Research led by Dr. Steve Kerrigan from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland in collaboration with Trinity College Dublin has revealed that the ability of S. aureus to latch onto bone cells depends on a specific protein called Spa, which is presented on the bacterium's surface. Once attached to the bone cell, the bacteria transmit signals prompting the bone cell to commit suicide. This causes a gradual loss of bone cells leading to progressive bone destruction and weakening of the skeletal system.

Ms Tania Claro who is presenting the group's work explained how the group's findings could lead to new therapies for osteomyelitis. "Bacteria that do not have the Spa protein on their surface are unable to bind to bone cells, which prevents them from sending suicide messages," she said. "Blocking bacterial attachment to cells via Spa could therefore be a way of treating osteomyelitis, or even preventing it in the first place."

Therapies that could effectively prevent and/or treat osteomyelitis could greatly improve the quality of life of sufferers. "This disease is very painful for patients and frustrating for both them and their doctors." explained Ms Claro. Current treatment involves prolonged aggressive antibiotic therapy, however this approach is often less than successful and surgical debridement is required.

New treatments for the disease that do not rely on existing antibiotics would be advantageous. "The danger of invasive bacterial disease is compounded by the rapid emergence of multi-drug resistant bacteria worldwide," explained Ms Claro. "The findings of this study will help develop better diagnostic tools and treatments for osteomyelitis that will not over-rely on antibiotics."


Contact: Laura Udakis
Society for General Microbiology

Related biology news :

1. Breast cancer cells recycle to escape death by hormonal therapy
2. Genes that control cell death fingered in age-related hearing loss
3. Caltech geobiologists discover unique magnetic death star fossil
4. Forced evolution: Can we mutate viruses to death?
5. Drops in blood oxygen levels may be key to sudden death in some epilepsy patients
6. New technology aims to reduce maternal and neonatal deaths
7. Fewer deaths with preventive antibiotic use
8. Burnham researchers discover on switch for cell death signaling mechanism
9. Study helps explain connection between sleep apnea, stroke and death
10. Stroke Belt deaths tied to non-traditional risk factors
11. Jefferson scientists discover a key protein regulator of inflammation and cell death
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/17/2015)... Paris , qui ... Paris , qui s,est tenu du ... leader de l,innovation biométrique, a inventé le premier scanner ... sur la même surface de balayage. Jusqu,ici, deux scanners ... les empreintes digitales. Désormais, un seul scanner est en ...
(Date:11/17/2015)... EASTON, Mass. , Nov. 17, 2015 ... a leader in the development and sale of broadly ... the worldwide life sciences industry, today announced it has ... of its $5 million Private Placement (the "Offering"), increasing ... to $4,025,000.  One or more additional closings are expected ...
(Date:11/12/2015)... , Nov. 12, 2015  A golden retriever ... Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) has provided a new lead ... Children,s Hospital, the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard ... Brazil . Cell, pinpoints ... dogs "escape" the disease,s effects. The Boston Children,s lab ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... QUEBEC CITY , Nov. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - ... the request of IIROC on behalf of the Toronto ... this news release there are no corporate developments that ... price. --> --> ... --> . --> Aeterna Zentaris ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... This fall, global software ... events in five states to develop and pitch their BIG ideas to improve health ... state are competing for votes to win the title of SAP's Teen Innovator, an ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , November 24, 2015 ... recent market research report released by Transparency Market Research, ... expand at a CAGR of 17.5% during the period ... Testing Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Volume, Share, ... global non-invasive prenatal testing market to reach a valuation ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... SAN FRANCISCO , Nov. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... today announced that Emily Leproust, Ph.D., Twist Bioscience ... Piper Jaffray Healthcare Conference on December 1, 2015 ... Palace Hotel in New York City. ... . Twist Bioscience is on ...
Breaking Biology Technology: