Navigation Links
Scientists look to tackle bacterium that is major cause of diarrhea, vomiting
Date:12/19/2013

Augusta, Ga. Scientists want to make a chink in the armor of a bacterium that has little name recognition yet is the number-one bacterial cause of the diarrhea, vomiting and stomach pain Americans experience annually.

While Salmonella is likely quicker to sound an alarm, infection with Campylobacter jejuni is at least 25 times more common. Americans report about 42,000 cases of Salmonella sickness each year compared with approximately 1.3 million cases of Campylobacter infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Chickens and other birds are a major source for both, and, as is becoming the norm, antibiotic resistance is a problem in treating either infection, said Dr. Stuart A. Thompson, microbiologist at the Medical College of Georgia.at Georgia Regents University.

"We are looking for a way to make Campylobacter more vulnerable," said Thompson, who just received a $1.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to learn more about the fascinating film that helps protect Campylobacter.

It's called biofilm, a slimy sugar coating made by bacteria and fungi that coats teeth overnight and leaves a pink ring in rarely used toilets. "Any standing water that goes down and leaves that ring, that is biofilm," Thompson said. In fact, that is basically how scientists grow biofilm in the lab.

However gross if may sound, biofilm is likely super-attractive to bacteria, which use it to deal with excess oxygen or to huddle and hibernate when nutrition is scarce. It's also hard for antibiotics to penetrate and handy in helping bacteria avoid more natural enemies like antibodies and free radicals.

"We are studying how biofilm formation is regulated," said Thompson, who wants to know the primary sugar Campylobacter uses to make its biofilm and how the regulatory protein, CsrA, helps.

"If we know what the sugar is, maybe we can come up with an inhibitor that essentially dissolves it," Thompson said. That approach could be used, as examples, to reduce the Campylobacter population in chickens, and/or to reduce antibiotic resistance in infected humans.

Thompson is working with Drs. Artur Muszynski and Russ Carlson at the University of Georgia Complex Carbohydrate Research Center to identify the primary sugar c uses to make biofilm. The new grant will help him analyze the biochemical pathway used to make the sugar and look at CsrA's role in regulating that biochemical process. He believes it's substantial.

When Thompson's research team removes CsrA, Campylobacter struggles to move, stick to the gastrointestinal track, stick to each other and colonize, resist oxidative stress or make biofilm. "In a normal cell, CsrA appears to promote all those features," he said.

The crux may be the tail, called the flagellum, which enables movement of the comma-shaped bacterium. The sticky tails also enable bacterium to stick together, which is when they start making sugar and, eventually, biofilm, so they can survive. "We are trying to figure out how CsrA regulates motility and, ultimately, biofilm formation," he said.

Thompson notes that different bacteria use different sugars to make biofilm and that they also use a lot of sugar internally. "They need sugar for all their metabolic pathways; they will take it up, then convert it to different molecules they need."

Campylobacter thrives comfortably in the intestines of chickens and other birds and is found in their excrement, which is one way the bacterium ends up in bodies of water and one reason Campylobacter infections tend to increase during the summer. Indoors, most infections occur from eating undercooked poultry or from cross-contamination that can occur when raw poultry and other foods are prepared on the same surface.


'/>"/>

Contact: Toni Baker
tbaker@gru.edu
706-721-4421
Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Stanford scientists develop gene therapy approach to grow blood vessels in ischemic limbs
2. Queens scientists seek vaccine for Pseudomonas infection
3. Scientists produce eye structures from human blood-derived stem cells
4. American Society of Plant Biologists honors early career women scientists
5. Brandeis scientists win prestigious prize for circadian rhythms research
6. Scientists discover new method of proton transfer
7. Salk scientists open new window into how cancers override cellular growth controls
8. WileyChina.com - Now Featuring Bespoke Pages for China’s Life Scientists
9. Scientists win $2 million to study new pathway in development and maintenance of lymphoma
10. UGA scientists reveal genetic mutation depicted in van Goghs sunflower paintings
11. Genetic mutation depicted in van Goghs sunflower paintings revealed by scientists
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Scientists look to tackle bacterium that is major cause of diarrhea, vomiting
(Date:5/16/2016)... , May 16, 2016   EyeLock LLC ... today announced the opening of an IoT Center of ... strengthen and expand the development of embedded iris biometric ... unprecedented level of convenience and security with unmatched biometric ... one,s identity aside from DNA. EyeLock,s platform uses video ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... BANGALORE, India , April 28, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... product subsidiary of Infosys (NYSE: INFY ), and ... global partnership that will provide end customers with ... banking and payment services.      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130122/589162 ... area for financial services, but it also plays a fundamental ...
(Date:4/19/2016)... April 20, 2016 The new ... a compact web-based "all-in-one" system solution for all door ... reader or the door interface with integration authorization management ... control systems. The minimal dimensions of the access control ... the building installations offer considerable freedom of design with ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... Diego, CA (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... solutions for clinical trials, announced today the Clinical Reach Virtual Patient Encounter ... their care circle with the physician and clinical trial team. , Using the CONSULT ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... June 27, 2016   Ginkgo Bioworks , a ... engineering, was today awarded as one of the ... the world,s most innovative companies. Ginkgo Bioworks is ... the real world in the nutrition, health and ... directly with customers including Fortune 500 companies to ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Researchers at the Universita Politecnica delle Marche in ... peritoneal or pleural mesothelioma. Their findings are the subject of a new article on ... biomarkers are signposts in the blood, lung fluid or tissue of mesothelioma patients that ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - FACIT has announced ... biotechnology company, Propellon Therapeutics Inc. ("Propellon" ... commercialization of a portfolio of first-in-class WDR5 inhibitors ... such as WDR5 represent an exciting class of ... precision medicine for cancer patients. Substantial advances have ...
Breaking Biology Technology: