Navigation Links
Disabling Key Protein may Give Physicians Time to Treat Pneumonic Plague

The deadly attack of the bacterium that causes pneumonic plague is significantly slowed when it can't make use of a key protein, scientists at Washington University School of// Medicine in St. Louis report in this week's issue of Science.

Speed is a primary concern in pneumonic plague, which kills in three to four days and potentially could be used in a terrorist attack. The bacterium that causes plague, Yersinia pestis, is vulnerable to antibiotics, but by the time an unusual infection becomes evident, Yersinia often has gained an unbeatable upper hand.

"By the time most doctors recognize an infection as plague, rather than the flu, it's already too late to begin antibiotic treatment," says senior author William Goldman, Ph.D., professor of molecular microbiology. "That makes pneumonic plague a concern both because of its rare natural outbreaks, one of which began in the Congo in 2005, and because of its potential use as a bioweapon."

Yersinia is best known for causing the Black Death in the Middle Ages in Europe, when historians estimate it killed a third or more of the population. Depending on how Yersinia is introduced, the versatile pathogen can modify itself to infect the lungs (pneumonic plague), the lymph glands (bubonic plague), or the bloodstream and organs (septicemic plague). Bubonic plague was spread by bites from infected fleas; pneumonic plague can spread through droplets of moisture expelled by coughing and sneezing.

With pilot project funding from the Midwest Regional Center for Excellence in Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases Research, Wyndham Lathem, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow in Goldman's laboratory, developed a mouse model of pneumonic plague and showed that it had many similarities to human infection. In mice, pneumonic plague causes the lungs to fill up with a fluid composed of bacteria, inflammatory cells and other substances. Shortly before infected mice die, the bacteria also be gin showing up in the spleen and other organs, spreading there via the bloodstream.

Previous research had suggested that pneumonic plague might be spreading in the body in part through use of a protein known as plasminogen activator (PLA). The protein is a protease, which degrades other proteins. Goldman, Lathem and colleagues thought PLA might be a tool Yersinia uses to break open protective blood clots that form around pockets of infection. This clotting response is believed to be a way the body attempts to limit the spread of infections: Surround a pathogen with blood clots, and it can't reproduce and spread. Scientists speculated that breaking open the clots might be how Yersinia opened a path from the lungs into the blood.

When scientists infected mice with Yersinia that lacked PLA, though, they found infection ebbing in the lungs but spreading to the spleen. The mice still died, but it took them several days longer to do so. They concluded that the aggressive pneumonia and rapid death of pneumonic plague appears to depend on the activity of PLA.

"Pharmaceutical companies have large libraries of protease inhibitors, so hopefully someone will start the search soon for an inhibitor of PLA that is specific and non-toxic enough to be used as an adjunct treatment," Goldman says. "That might give us enough time to use antibiotics to save patients afflicted with pneumonic plague." Goldman hopes to conduct follow-up studies to learn more about how plague exploits PLA.

Source-Eurekalert
'"/>




Related medicine news :

1. Disabling Fatigue in Children Is Due to Genetic Inheritances
2. Lean Protein Could Be Key to Obesity Drugs
3. Evidence Links Protein Damage to Neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinsons and Alzheimers
4. Unravelling the secrets of ‘Huntingtin’ Protein - towards the treatment of ‘Huntingtons’ Disase
5. Unravelling the secrets of ‘Huntingtin’ Protein - towards the treatment of Huntingtins’ Disese
6. Protein in urine foresees heart disease
7. Levels Of Blood Proteins May Help Heart Disease Care
8. Protein signals need for heart surgery
9. Protein and fat improve memory
10. Clotting Protein plays a role in nerve repair
11. High Levels of Protein Linked to Brain Shrinkage
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:6/25/2016)... , ... June 25, 2016 , ... "With 30 hand-drawn ... specific project," said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProHand ... all within Final Cut Pro X . Simply select a ProHand generator and ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, Dr. ... his M.D from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained in ... to complete his fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where he ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary ... Work award to iHire in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. ... Maryland Workplace Health & Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... A recent article ... are unfamiliar with. The article goes on to state that individuals are now more ... these less common operations such as calf and cheek reduction. The Los Angeles area ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... June 19, 2016 is World Sickle Cell ... pain and the benefits of holistic treatments, Serenity Recovery Center of Marne, ... Cell Disease. , Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a disorder of the red blood ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. , June 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... pulmonary function testing company, is now able to perform sophisticated lung ... ndd Medical Technologies , Inc. Patients are ... labs.  Thanks to ndd,s EasyOne PRO ® , ARL patients like ... any needed testing done in the comfort of her own home. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016  Arkis BioSciences, ... less invasive and more durable cerebrospinal fluid treatments, ... funding.  The Series-A funding is led by Innova ... Fund, and other private investors.  Arkis, new financing ... instrumentation and the market release of its in-licensed ...
(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, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: