Navigation Links
Team IDs weakness in anthrax bacteria
Date:1/24/2008

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--MIT and New York University researchers have identified a weakness in the defenses of the anthrax bacterium that could be exploited to produce new antibiotics.

The researchers found that nitric oxide (NO) is a critical part of Bacillus anthracis's defense against the immune response launched by cells infected with the bacterium. Anthrax bacteria that cannot produce NO succumb to the immune system's attack.

Stephen Lippard, the Arthur Amos Noyes Professor of Chemistry at MIT and an author of a paper on the work, said antibiotics developed to capitalize on this vulnerability could be effective against other bacteria that employ the same defense system. Those bacteria include Staphylococcus aureus, which commonly causes infections in hospitals and can be extremely drug-resistant.

The paper appears in the Jan. 21 online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Anthrax occurs naturally around the world and can infect all warm-blooded animals including humans. Treatment usually includes large doses of intravenous and oral antibiotics, but the disease can often be fatal-especially if treatment is not started right away.

In the human immune system, specialized cells called macrophages are the first line of defense against anthrax infection. Macrophages engulf the bacteria and bombard them with reactive oxygen and nitrogen species, which create chemical reactions toxic to the bacteria.

The research team found that NO produced by the bacteria preemptively defends against attack by reactive oxygen species produced by the macrophages soon after infection. Twelve hours later, when the macrophages release NO to join in the attack, it is too late-by then the bacteria have taken over and eventually destroy the macrophages.

When the gene for the enzyme that synthesizes NO is knocked out in the bacteria, they cannot defend against early attack by the macrophages, which can then survive the infection.

With the aid of an intracellular probe developed in our laboratory, which fluoresces in the presence of NO, our collaborators Evgeny Nudler and his group discovered a completely new target for the next generation of antibiotics, said Lippard.

With this knowledge in hand, the researchers are now using the fluorescent probe to screen libraries of chemicals for compounds that could potentially interfere with the bacterium's ability to synthesize NO, said Lippard. Such compounds could eventually be developed into new antibiotics.


'/>"/>

Contact: Elizabeth Thomson
thomson@mit.edu
617-258-5402
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Using carbon nanotubes to seek and destroy anthrax toxin and other harmful proteins
2. Bacterial infections in premature babies more common than previously realized
3. Multiple species of bacteria may cause trachoma: Implications for treatment
4. New drug targets may fight tuberculosis and other bacterial infections in novel way
5. Jekyll and Hyde bacteria offer pest control clue
6. Bacteria that cause urinary tract infections invade bladder cells
7. Nanotube-producing bacteria show manufacturing promise
8. CU-Boulder technology used to identify unexpected bacteria in cystic fibrosis patients
9. Small RNA plays parallel roles in bacterial metabolism
10. Together we stand: bacteria organize to survive hostile zones
11. Chemical compound present in detergents produce bacteria alterations in agricultural soils
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/28/2017)... The report "Video Surveillance Market ... Storage Devices), Software (Video Analytics, VMS), and Service (VSaaS, ... to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market was valued ... to reach USD 75.64 Billion by 2022, at a ... year considered for the study is 2016 and the ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... The report "Gesture Recognition and Touchless Sensing Market by Technology (Touch-based ... to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market is expected to be worth USD ... 2022. Continue Reading ... ... ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... 21, 2017 Vigilant Solutions , a ... enforcement agencies, announced today the appointment of retired FBI ... public safety business development. Mr. Sheridan brings ... including a focus on the aviation transportation sector, to ... position, Mr. Sheridan served as the Aviation Liaison Agent ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... May 22, 2017 , ... A new Technology ... Diego, California, this August will feature high-level speakers on quantum devices, graphene electronic ... Optics and Photonics, the largest multidisciplinary optical sciences meeting in North America, will ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... May 23, 2017 , ... Bacterial biofilms, surface adherent communities of bacteria that ... ranging from food poisoning and catheter infections to gum disease and the rejection of ... billions of dollars per year, there is currently a paucity of means for preventing ...
(Date:5/22/2017)... ... May 22, 2017 , ... Baltimore biotech firm, PathSensors, announced ... community in developing and issuing recommendations to grow Maryland's biohealth industry and position ... 2023. , The recommendations are contained in a report from ...
(Date:5/19/2017)... York (PRWEB) , ... May 19, 2017 , ... In ... in treating gait disorders, Biodex Medical Systems, Inc. announces the release of their Gait ... therapy has been joined with a biomedical system to aid in rehabilitating individuals with ...
Breaking Biology Technology: