Navigation Links
UCI-led study uncovers how Salmonella avoids the body's immune response

Irvine, Calif., March 14, 2012 UC Irvine researchers have discovered how Salmonella, a bacterium found in contaminated raw foods that causes major gastrointestinal distress in humans, thrives in the digestive tract despite the immune system's best efforts to destroy it.

Their findings help explain why Salmonella is difficult to eradicate and point to new approaches for possible treatments. Most people infected with Salmonella suffer from diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps for up to seven days before the infection resolves.

Lead researcher Manuela Raffatellu, a UCI assistant professor of microbiology & molecular genetics, and colleagues identified a novel molecular mechanism that allows Salmonella to survive. Results of their study appear in the March issue of Cell Host & Microbe.

Pathogens like Salmonella flourish and cause disease in humans through a process by which they acquire metal ions, such as zinc, from the body. One of the body's key immune responses is to flood the infected area with antimicrobial proteins that include calprotectin, which removes zinc. Without enough of this vital element, most pathogens eventually die.

Raffatellu's team found, however, that salmonellae overcome this immune response by expressing specialized transporter proteins that enable the bacteria to acquire zinc in spite of calprotectin reducing the amount available in the digestive tract. This distinctive mechanism lets salmonellae continue proliferating.

At the same time, calprotectin inadvertently promotes Salmonella growth by killing the microbes that normally reside within the intestines and help the immune system battle pathogenic bacteria.

"We're beginning to learn more about the mechanisms that allow pathogens like Salmonella to evade our natural defenses and make us sick," Raffatellu said. "In light of this, if we can devise therapies that block the acquisition of zinc and other metals by Salmonella specifically, we can fight this infection."

Additionally, she said, the new findings may have relevance for other illnesses, such as inflammatory bowel disease and colon cancer, in which high levels of calprotectin are detected.


Contact: Tom Vasich
University of California - Irvine

Related biology news :

1. Gases drawn into smog particles stay there, UCI-led study reveals
2. UCI-led team finds new way to boost potency of marijuana-like chemical in body
3. UCI-led butterfly study sheds light on convergent evolution
4. Study demonstrates cells can acquire new functions through transcriptional regulatory network
5. University of Houston study shows BP oil spill hurt marshes, but recovery possible
6. EU-funded study underlines importance of Congo Basin for global climate and biodiversity
7. Crystal structure of archael chromatin clarified in new study
8. Pycnogenol (French maritime pine bark extract) shown to improve menopause symptoms in new study
9. 15-year study: When it comes to creating wetlands, Mother Nature is in charge
10. BYU study: Using a gun in bear encounters doesnt make you safer
11. Study jointly led by UCSB researcher supports theory of extraterrestrial impact
Post Your Comments:
(Date:4/26/2016)... LONDON , April 26, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... Systems, a product subsidiary of Infosys (NYSE: ... partnership to integrate the Onegini mobile security platform ... ) The integration ... security to access and transact across channels. Using ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... -- A new partnership announced today will help life ... a fraction of the time it takes today, ... insurance policies to consumers without requiring inconvenient and ... rapid testing (A1C, Cotinine and HIV) and higi,s ... pulse, BMI, and activity data) available at local ...
(Date:4/13/2016)... CHICAGO , April 13, 2016  IMPOWER physicians ... are setting a new clinical standard in telehealth ... By leveraging the higi platform, IMPOWER patients can ... weight, pulse and body mass index, and, when they ... quick and convenient visit to a local retail location ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Andrew D Zelenetz , ... Published recently in Oncology & ... Andrew D Zelenetz , discusses the fact ... placing an increasing burden on healthcare systems worldwide, ... the patents on many biologics expiring, interest in ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ClinCapture, the only ... Center and will showcase its product’s latest features from June 26 to June ... scientific poster on Disrupting Clinical Trials in The Cloud during the conference. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Velocity Products, ... tools designed, tuned and optimized exclusively for Okuma CNC machining centers at The ... of a collaboration among several companies with expertise in toolholding, cutting tools, machining ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 ... research report to its pharmaceuticals section with historic ... details and much more. Complete report ... 151 pages, profiling 15 companies and supported with ... . The Global ...
Breaking Biology Technology: