Navigation Links
Pitt phage hunter takes on tuberculosis

One third of the world's people are infected with tuberculosis, and someone new is infected every second. TB is notoriously hard to treat, requiring a course of multiple antibiotics over six to nine months. Many people don't complete the full course of treatment, which leads to increasing antibiotic resistance against the disease.

More effective treatments could be on the way, however, with a new five-year, $2.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to Graham Hatfull, Eberly Family Professor of Biotechnology and Chair of the Department of Biological Sciences in the University of Pittsburgh's School of Arts and Sciences. William Jacobs, professor of microbiology and immunology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, is a key collaborator. Both Hatfull and Jacobs are supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

The key to better treating tuberculosis, they believe, may lie in a harmless cousin of TB called Mycobacterium smegmatis. In the cover story of the December 2005 issue of Cell, Hatfull and Jacobs described how M. smegmatis forms a drug-resistant coating called a biofilm.

The researchers made this discovery by infecting M. smegmatis with a bacteriophage nicknamed the "Bronx Bomber," which Jacobs had isolated from his back yard, and which Hatfull has studied extensively. They found that when infected by the Bomber, the germ could no longer form its protective coatings. Furthermore, this occurred because the phage had disrupted a M. smegmatis gene called groEL1-which has a nearly identical counterpart in M. tuberculosis.

The NIH grant will allow Hatfull and Jacobs to explore whether the Bomber also affects the groEL1 gene in the TB-causing germ. If so, it could pave the way for medications that similarly break down the bacteria's defenses and thereby increase the effectiveness of antibiotics.

"We'd like to have an understanding of M. tuberculosis and what happens during an infection that lead s to such difficult, prolonged treatment," said Hatfull, who also codirects the Pittsburgh Bacteriophage Institute.

"An ideal scenario would be to develop drugs that would allow TB to be treated over a much shorter period of time," he added. "Shortening the treatment would lead not only to more effective and simple control of the disease, but also would cut down on the development of drug-resistant organisms."


'"/>

Source:University of Pittsburgh


Related biology news :

1. Basis for DNA ejection from single phage particles
2. UCSB researchers discover shape matters to macrophages
3. Macrophage signaling may affect hormone resistance in prostate tumors
4. Study shows big game hunters, not climate change, killed off sloths
5. Good times ahead for dinosaur hunters, according to U of Penn scientists dinosaur census
6. Gene hunters close in on Lou Gehrig’s disease
7. NJIT Presidential Award winner takes stem cell research another step
8. Unique library of plant genes germinates, takes root at UNC
9. New influenza vaccine takes weeks to mass produce
10. Oops! Researchers publish new findings on the brains response to costly mistakes
11. Blood flow in brain takes a twist, affecting views of Alzheimers
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:6/30/2017)... Today, American Trucking Associations announced Seeing ... and eye tracking software, became the newest member ... "Artificial intelligence and advanced sensing algorithms ... driver,s attentiveness levels while on the road.  Drivers ... fatigue and prevent potential accidents, which could lead ...
(Date:6/14/2017)... IBM ) is introducing several innovative partner startups at ... between startups and global businesses, taking place in ... startups will showcase the solutions they have built with IBM ... France is one of the most ... increase in the number of startups created between 2012 and ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... , May 16, 2017  Veratad Technologies, LLC ( ... online age and identity verification solutions, announced today they ... Conference 2017, May 15 thru May 17, 2017, in ... and International Trade Center. Identity impacts ... and in today,s quickly evolving digital world, defining identity ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/16/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... August 16, 2017 , ... ... third U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) inspection at our Dilworth, MN site. ... 483 was issued. This inspection was conducted as part of a routine Bioresearch ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... ... August 15, 2017 , ... Kapstone Medical ... years of successes helping medical technology companies and inventors develop and safeguard their latest ... full-service national engineering firm with a portfolio of clients in the United States and ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... ... August 15, 2017 , ... Kenall, ... modular downlights designed to stay tightly sealed and perform efficiently for years. The ... wet location listings just aren't enough, such as: hospitals; behavioral health facilities; cleanrooms; ...
(Date:8/14/2017)... ... August 14, 2017 , ... Every year, millions ... in the antibody community have recently come together to address this antibody crisis ... laboratory. , The team at Thermo Fisher Scientific has ...
Breaking Biology Technology: