Navigation Links
UTSA biology researchers demystify elusive war zone bacterium

San Antonio Tao Weitao, a researcher in the College of Sciences' Department of Biology at the University of Texas at San Antonio is making great strides in a project that was funded one year ago by the San Antonio Area Foundation. The professor in the South Texas Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases is researching Acinetobacter baumannii, a soil-dwelling bacterium that threatens the health of military personnel in the Middle East and can also infect their family members once the soldiers have returned home following battle.

The symptoms of Acinetobacter infections are mild to severe and present in a variety of ways, but are mostly found in immunocompromised individuals. Signs may include urinary tract infections and respiratory infections post-surgery, pneumonia following health care treatment, bacteria in the blood, deep wound infections, bone and bone marrow infections, or skin and soft-tissue infection.

A year ago, very little was known about A. baumannii. Treatment of infected individuals was exceedingly difficult, because the bacterium was able to develop multi-drug resistance. Treatment was also impaired by the bacterium's ability to form biofilms: highly-resistant communities of bacteria which serve as a breeding ground for microorganisms infecting an individual.

In the last year, however, Weitao's collaborative research team has isolated proteins they believe help the bacterium form its biofilm. As the biologists continue their research, they hope to gain a better understanding of the mechanisms by which each protein helps A. baumannii propagate its deadly infections. Such an understanding will help develop effective therapeutic strategies to disrupt biofilm formation and diminish the risk of antimicrobial resistance emergence.

The San Antonio Area Foundation awarded funding to Weitao, in part, because San Antonio has such strong ties to the military.

"San Antonio has a proud history as a military city," said Retired Air Force Colonel Clarence R. "Reggie" Williams, president / CEO of the San Antonio Area Foundation. "The San Antonio Area Foundation is equally proud to partner with area donors in funding new medical research efforts impacting our military personnel and their families. Through innovative research and advancement, The University of Texas at San Antonio has successfully addressed many of the military community's most challenging health care needs. We're proud to support their efforts to 'make better lives' for everyone."

"Acinetobacter baumannii is an extremely threatening microbe that researchers desperately need to better understand," said Weitao. "Ultimately, we hope our research leads us to pathways we can target for the development of therapeutic or preventative strategies, that is effective antibiotics or vaccines, to keep the infection rate low."


Contact: Christi Fish
University of Texas at San Antonio

Related biology news :

1. Tips from the Journals of the American Society for Microbiology
2. Society for General Microbiology 161st Meeting, University of Edinburgh
3. Systems Biology poised to revolutionize the understanding of cell function and disease
4. Europe needs collective effort on System Biology, says ESF Task Force
5. American Society for Microbiology honors Lucas R. Hoffman
6. American Society for Microbiology honors Joanna Kubler-Kielb
7. American Society for Microbiology honors Hung Ton-That
8. American Society for Microbiology honors Thomas E. Wellems
9. American Society for Microbiology honors Jason T. Blackard
10. American Society for Microbiology honors Michael Bruce Zwick
11. New partnership offers outsourced R&D in membrane biology
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/8/2015)... SAN JOSE, Calif. , Oct. 8, 2015 ... leading developer of human interface solutions, announced today ... first quarter of fiscal 2016 on Thursday, October ... company will host a corresponding conference call for ... p.m. ET), during which management may discuss forward-looking ...
(Date:10/8/2015)... NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... authentication company focused on the growing mobile commerce ... announces that revenues for the three months ended ... $113,00 for the three months ended June 30, ... 30, 2015 were approximately $520,000.      ...
(Date:10/7/2015)... Connecticut , October 7, 2015 ... authentication company focused on the growing mobile commerce market ... Stanley E. Washington , former long- term executive ... of Directors. --> NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" or ... growing mobile commerce market and creator of the Wocket® ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2015)... cell surface marker detection market ... to a new report by Grand View Research, Inc. This ... of oncology diseases and other cell-associated disorders. --> ... USD 6.49 billion by 2022, according to a new report ... be attributed to rise in incidence of oncology diseases and ...
(Date:10/12/2015)...  Patara Pharma, a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing ... conditions, today announced the closing of a $26 ... the close of its sale of preferred stock, ... Agreement with Silicon Valley Bank whereby the Company ... use the funds from the financing to evaluate ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... , Belgium , Oct. 12, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... that full results from a completed clinical study of its ... have been published in the online issue of Clinical ... The peer-reviewed study was conducted in collaboration with ... led by Roland Andersson , MD, PhD, Professor of ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... ... ... LifeTrak , a leader in consumer fitness, heart rate and activity ... tracker that seeks to meet the needs of multi-sport athletes. Zoom is the first ... both in water and on land, making it the only fitness tracker an athlete ...
Breaking Biology Technology: