Navigation Links
Scientists reveal how cholera bacterium gains a foothold in the gut
Date:1/27/2012

A team of biologists at the University of York has made an important advance in our understanding of the way cholera attacks the body. The discovery could help scientists target treatments for the globally significant intestinal disease which kills more than 100,000 people every year.

The disease is caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae, which is able to colonise the intestine usually after consumption of contaminated water or food. Once infection is established, the bacterium secretes a toxin that causes watery diarrhoea and ultimately death if not treated rapidly. Colonisation of the intestine is difficult for incoming bacteria as they have to be highly competitive to gain a foothold among the trillions of other bacteria already in situ.

Scientists at York, led by Dr. Gavin Thomas in the University's Department of Biology, have investigated one of the important routes that V. cholerae uses to gain this foothold. To be able to grow in the intestine the bacterium harvests and then eats a sugar, called sialic acid, that is present on the surface of our gut cells.

Collaborators of the York group at the University of Delaware, USA, led by Professor Fidelma Boyd, had shown previously that eating sialic acid was important for the survival of V. cholerae in animal models, but the mechanism by which the bacteria recognise and take up the sialic was unknown.

The York research, funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), demonstrates that the pathogen uses a particular kind of transporter called a TRAP transporter to recognise sialic acid and take it up into the cell. The transporter has particular properties that are suited to scavenging the small amount of available sialic acid. The research also provided some important basic information about how TRAP transporters work in general.

The leader of the research in York, Dr. Gavin Thomas, said: "This work continues our discoveries of how bacteria that grow in our body exploit sialic acid for their survival and help us to take forward our efforts to design chemicals to inhibit these processes in different bacterial pathogens."

The research is published in the latest issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry and was primarily the work of Dr Christopher Mulligan, a postdoctoral fellow in the Dr Thomas's laboratory.


'/>"/>

Contact: David Garner
david.garner@york.ac.uk
44-190-432-2153
University of York
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Rice, UCSD scientists probe form, function of mysterious protein
2. Scientists discover new clue to the chemical origins of life
3. MIT neuroscientists explore how longstanding conflict influences empathy for others
4. EMBL Monterotondo researcher wins award for early career scientists
5. Broadcast study of ocean acidification to date helps scientists evaluate effects on marine life
6. Scripps Research scientists provide new understanding of chronic pain
7. Scientists uncover novel mechanism of glioblastoma development
8. Walk this way: Scientists and MBL physiology students describe how a motor protein steps out
9. Scientists identify gene crucial to normal development of lungs and brain
10. Scientists look to microbes to unlock Earths deep secrets
11. Nobel history illustrates gap in grants to young scientists
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/11/2017)... 11, 2017 Crossmatch®, a globally-recognized leader ... today announced that it has been awarded a ... Activity (IARPA) to develop next-generation Presentation Attack Detection ... "Innovation has been a driving force within Crossmatch ... allow us to innovate and develop new technologies ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... BROOKLYN, N.Y. , April 11, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ ... identical fingerprints, but researchers at the New York ... University College of Engineering have found that partial ... fingerprint-based security systems used in mobile phones and ... previously thought. The vulnerability lies in ...
(Date:4/6/2017)... Forecasts by Product Type (EAC), Biometrics, Card-Based ... & Logistics, Government & Public Sector, Utilities / Energy ... Nuclear Power), Industrial, Retail, Business Organisation (BFSI), Hospitality & ... for a definitive report on the $27.9bn Access Control ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/21/2017)... ... May 19, 2017 , ... Ovation Fertility scientists’ work ... Association of Bioanalysts (AAB) and the College of Reproductive Biology (CRB) today and ... commitment to excellence in clinical laboratory services and regulations. , “We are ...
(Date:5/19/2017)... ... May 19, 2017 , ... The University ... researchers with technologies ripe for commercialization, and who are affiliated with the 21 ... to submit proposals. QED, now in its tenth round, is the first multi-institutional ...
(Date:5/18/2017)... ... ... Clinical Supplies Management (“CSM”), a Great Point Partners II (“GPP”) portfolio company, today announced ... in size over the past six months with the acquisition of businesses in Belgium ... as Chief Financial Officer. Roger has over 25 years of experience in finance ...
(Date:5/18/2017)... ... 17, 2017 , ... Cognition Corporation ( http://www.cognition.us ... released version 9.0 of the Cognition Cockpit platform. , “Our whole team has ... Cronin, CEO of Cognition. “We’re thrilled to finally be able to release it ...
Breaking Biology Technology: