Navigation Links
New findings on killer bacteria's defence
Date:12/14/2012

Antibodies are key to the recognition and neutralisation of bacteria by our immune system. The most common antibodies have the shape of a Y, and the two prongs fasten to molecules that belong to the bacteria. The cells in the immune system recognise the shaft and can then attack the bacteria.

Since the 1960s, it has been known that certain bacteria have developed the ability to turn these antibodies around, which makes it more difficult for the immune system to identify them. These include streptococcus bacteria, sometimes referred to as 'killer bacteria', that cause both common tonsillitis and more serious diseases such as sepsis (blood poisoning) and necrotising fasciitis (flesh-eating disease). Because it has not been possible to study this phenomenon in detail, researchers have until now presumed that antibodies are always turned around in these streptococcal infections.

Now researchers at Lund University have shown that this is not the case. In less serious conditions, such as tonsillitis, the antibodies are back-to-front, but in more serious and life-threatening diseases such as sepsis and necrotising fasciitis, the antibodies are the right way round. These findings have now been published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine and completely alter the understanding of bacterial infections with several of our most common pathogenic bacteria.

"This information is important and fundamental to improving our understanding of streptococcal infections, but our results also show that the principle described could apply to many different types of bacteria", says Pontus Nordenfelt, who is currently conducting research at Harvard Medical School in Boston.

The present study shows that it is the concentration of antibodies in the local environment in the body that controls how the antibodies sit on the surface of the bacteria. In the throat, for example, where the concentration is low, the antibodies sit the wrong way round, but in the blood, where the concentration is high, the antibodies are the right way round. This explains why the most serious infections are so rare in comparison to the common and often mild cases of throat and skin infections.

The bacteria in the blood are quite simply easier for the immune system to find.

In the future, the results could have an impact on the treatment of serious infectious diseases, since a better understanding of the mechanisms behind the diseases is needed to develop new treatments.

Lars Bjrck, Professor of Infectious Medicine at Lund University, has discovered some of the antibody-turning proteins and has studied their structure and function for over 30 years.

"It is fantastic to have been involved in moving a major step closer to understanding the biological and medical importance of these proteins together with talented young colleagues", he says.


'/>"/>

Contact: Pontus Nordenfelt
pontus.nordenfelt@childrens.harvard.edu
857-225-3050
Lund University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. New findings in breast cancer
2. Kessler Foundation scientists present cognitive research findings at MS dual symposium
3. Researchers present new findings for novel pancreatic cancer vaccine
4. Mayo Clinic urologists present findings at American Urological Association Annual Meeting
5. Once-Banned Bird Flu Study Yields Sobering Findings
6. Columbus Allergist Dr. Summit Shah Discusses Recent Findings on Food Allergies and Exercise-Induced Anaphylaxis
7. Relief for Migraine Sufferers as The Life House Offers New Findings, Free Consults
8. New findings by GW researcher break tanning misconceptions: There is no such thing as a safe tan
9. MRI findings shed light on multiple sclerosis
10. Unexpected findings at multi-detector CT scans: Less reason to worry
11. New findings on mens genes could alter interpretation of PSA test
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/27/2017)... ... June 27, 2017 , ... Today, June 27th is PTSD Awareness Day. Over ... 20% will receive adequate care due to lack of effective treatments, fear of stigma ... all. And left untreated, veterans are at an increased risk for self-destructive behavior, including ...
(Date:6/27/2017)... ... ... Children’s National Health System received top honors in the 2017-18 U.S News & ... of more than 1500 neonatal intensive care units coast to coast. Children’s ... the top performing children’s hospitals in the country. , In addition to achieving ...
(Date:6/26/2017)... ... June 26, 2017 , ... Dr. Martin ... Specialists, in collaboration with the Fertility Center of California, is pleased to announce ... epidydimal sperm aspiration) and TESA (percutaneous testicular sperm extraction). These minimally invasive treatments ...
(Date:6/26/2017)... Mexico (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2017 , ... ... anorgasmia, and urinary leakage is revolutionizing the way women look and feel about ... tackling the problem of female sexual dysfunction and urinary leakage head on with ...
(Date:6/26/2017)... ... 26, 2017 , ... KICKICO , a protocol built on Ethereum for ... many catastrophic issues within funding campaigns. KICKICO developers are testing the platform, which will ... the raising of funds through the power of many - has been around for ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/8/2017)... 8, 2017   Responding to Heath Ledger,s ... death of singer Chris Cornell in May, the ... offers a free online psychiatric drug side ... families about psychotropic drug risks. The father ... from an accidental overdose, has called for tighter rules on ...
(Date:6/7/2017)... June 7, 2017  Novavax, Inc., (Nasdaq: NVAX ... Phase 2 trials of its RSV F protein recombinant nanoparticle ... age have been published in the journal Vaccine ... shared in prior scientific conferences). The Company previously announced ... Novavax is developing the RSV F Vaccine with the goal ...
(Date:6/5/2017)... Kohll,s Pharmacy & Homecare is the first distributor of ... . The Raizer is a simple battery operated mobile ... an almost-standing position within a few minutes. The ... and does not require any extra effort besides a ... can operate it, and lightweight and portable so ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: