Navigation Links
A bacterial genome reveals new targets to combat infectious disease

More than a billion people are at risk for infection with filarial nematodes, parasites that cause elephantiasis, African river blindness, and other debilitating diseases in more than 150 million people worldwide. The nematodes themselves play host to bacteria that live within their cells, but in this case, the relationship is classic mutualism, with each benefiting from the other. Indeed, the Wolbachia bacterium is so crucial to its host nematode that apparently eradicating it with antibiotics severely compromises the nematode's ability to complete its life cycle within its human host. Thus, understanding the details of this relationship may help identify new strategies for controlling diseases caused by filarial nematodes. In a new study published in the freely-available online journal PLoS Biology, Barton Slatko and colleagues present the complete DNA sequence of the Wolbachia pipientis strain within Brugia malayi, a parasitic nematode responsible for lymphatic filariasis.

This Wolbachia genome is small, only about a million base pairs, and many metabolically critical genes have degraded through mutation to the point of uselessness. This phenomenon, called reductive evolution, is typical of long-term symbioses, as the two partners increasingly complement one another's biochemical activities.

Slatko and colleagues enumerate a variety of pathways that have either been degraded or preserved, and highlight patterns in the genome structure through comparisons with other bacteria. For example, Wolbachia can manufacture some essential metabolic coenzymes, which do not appear to be made by its host. Conversely, it cannot synthesize amino acids and a variety of other vitamins and cofactors, and probably depends on the nematode to supply them.

One discovery of possible significance is the presence in the bacterium of the synthetic pathway for heme - the oxygen-carrying iron component of hemoglobin. The nematode may require heme for synthesis of devel opmental hormones, so Wolbachia's heme pathway may be an inviting target for therapy against nematode infection. Since no new antifilarial has been developed in two decades, these results may quickly lead to new therapeutic strategies against these parasites.

###

Citation: Foster J, Ganatra M, Kamal I, Ware J, Makarova K, et al. (2005) The Wolbachia genome of Brugia malayi: Endosymbiont evolution within a human pathogenic nematode. PLoS Biol 3(4): e121.


'"/>

Source:PLoS Biology


Related biology news :

1. Anti-bacterial additive widespread in U.S. waterways
2. Discovery of key proteins shape could lead to improved bacterial pneumonia vaccine
3. Scientists discover that host cell lipids facilitate bacterial movement
4. Protein prevents detrimental immune effects of bacterial sepsis
5. Researchers develop new method for facile identification of proteins in bacterial cells
6. A virus-like hitchhiker may trigger bacterial meningitis
7. Using the genomic shortcut to predict bacterial behavior
8. Eliminating bacterial infections out of thin air
9. Student scientists create living bacterial photographs
10. Researchers identify molecular anchor that allows bacterial invasion of central nervous system
11. Scientists determine structure of enzyme that disrupts bacterial virulence
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:6/20/2016)... 2016 Securus Technologies, a leading provider ... public safety, investigation, corrections and monitoring announced that ... has secured the final acceptance by all three ... Access Systems (MAS) installed. Furthermore, Securus will have ... installed by October, 2016. MAS distinguishes between legitimate ...
(Date:6/15/2016)... , June 15, 2016 ... report titled "Gesture Recognition Market by Application Market - Global Industry ... - 2024". According to the report, the  global gesture ... in 2015 and is estimated to grow at ... billion by 2024.  Increasing application of ...
(Date:6/9/2016)... Paris Police Prefecture and ... ensure the safety of people and operations in several locations ... Teleste, an international technology group specialised in broadband ... its video security solution will be utilised by ... across the country. The system roll-out is scheduled for the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/2/2016)... --  SurePure, Inc. (OTCQB: SURP) a global leader ... concluded an agreement with Tamarack Biotics under which Tamarack ... acquire units of the Company,s patented photopurification technology with ... Concurrently with the option, SurePure has entered ... seek regulatory approvals in the United States ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2016 , ... ... new moving magnet Voice Coil Actuator with a flexure design that ensures high ... life with cost-effective pricing and is ideally suited where extreme precision is required, ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... , Nov. 30, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - Portage Biotech Inc. ... Exchange: PBT.U), is excited to announce the formation ... on developing preclinical ophthalmology assets through proof of ... anti-inflammatory created by Portage Pharmaceuticals Limited and being ... ocular surface and anterior segment diseases. This agent ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... , Nov. 30, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -  Equicare Health Inc ... has been recognized as one of the top 100 ... annual international listing that distinguishes the top digital health ... a great step forward this year continually upgrading our ... own customer base and team," says Len Grenier ...
Breaking Biology Technology: