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:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... Conventional wisdom preaches the benefits of moderation, whether it’s ... setting the bar too high can result in disappointment, perhaps even self-loathing. However, those ... goal. , Research from PsychTests.com reveals that behind the tendency to ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... June 19, 2016 is World Sickle ... chronic pain and the benefits of holistic treatments, Serenity Recovery Center of ... Sickle Cell Disease. , Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a disorder of the red ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Global law firm Greenberg ... Legal Elite. The attorneys chosen by their peers for this recognition are considered among ... Greenberg Traurig Shareholders received special honors as members of this year’s Legal Elite Hall ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Topical BioMedics, Inc, makers of Topricin and MyPainAway ... call for a minimum wage raise to $12 an hour by 2020 and then adjusting ... restore the lost value of the minimum wage, assure the wage floor does not erode ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... The Haute Beauty Network, affiliated ... Weintraub as a prominent plastic surgeon and the network’s newest partner. , ... most handsome men, look naturally attractive. Plastic surgery should be invisible.” He stands ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... ITASCA, Ill. , June 23, 2016  In a startling ... states are failing their residents by lacking a comprehensive, proven plan ... , a definitive ranking of how states are tackling the ... rating to only four states – Kentucky , ... and Vermont . Of the 28 failing states, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 Capricor Therapeutics, Inc. ... biotechnology company focused on the discovery, development and ... enrollment in its ongoing randomized HOPE-Duchenne clinical trial ... of its 24-patient target. Capricor expects the trial ... of 2016, and to report top line data ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 , ... on Thursday, July 7, 2016 , , , , LOCATION: ... , , , , EXPERT PANELISTS:  , , , ... Senior Industry Analyst, Christi Bird; Senior Industry Analyst, Divyaa Ravishankar and ... The global pharmaceutical industry is witnessing an exceptional era. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: