Navigation Links
Scientists Find Potential Weakness In Plague Germ

The germ that caused the plague epidemic that ravaged medieval Europe has a weakness that could help make a particularly dangerous form easier to treat//, according to a study published on Thursday.

A bacterium known as Yersinia pestis causes both bubonic plague, the dreaded Black Death spread when people are bitten by an infected flea, and pneumonic plague, spread from one person to another through coughing or sneezing.

There are periodic natural outbreaks of pneumonic plague like one that started in 2005 in the Democratic Republic of Congo. There also is acute concern terrorists could harness the bacterium as an airborne germ warfare agent to spread pneumonic plague.

Writing in the journal Science, scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis said experiments with mice showed that the onslaught of the bacterium slows markedly when the germ cannot use a key protein.

Pneumonic plague can kill a person in three or four days after infection. Antibiotics can beat the bacterium, but by the time the infection becomes apparent the disease has progressed so far that it may be too late for them to do any good.

"It leaves a very narrow window of time that you could administer antibiotics and hope for good results," said William Goldman, the study's senior author.

Goldman said it might be possible to develop a drug that could slow progression of the disease so antibiotics can work.

Plague is uncommon now, but worth studying, Goldman said.

"It's easy to grow this bacterium. So I think there is a general concern that if someone really wanted to design a bioweapon, this is a candidate," said Goldman, professor of molecular microbiology at Washington University.

TWO-PHASE DISEASE
The researchers developed a mouse model of the disease that mimicked human pneumonic plague.

It is a two-phase disease that begins with bacteria multiplying rapidly in the lung s, but with no symptoms.

About 36 hours after exposure, the disease progresses into a second phase, with a lot of inflammation and symptoms. Bacteria invade the spleen and other organs and an overwhelming, rapidly developing pneumonia proves fatal.

The researchers focused on a protein known as plasminogen activator, which they think the bacterium uses to break open protective blood clots that the body forms to try to limit the spread of an infection.

They made a mutant version of Yersinia without that protein. When mice were exposed to it, the bacterium managed to begin infection normally but the disease never progressed into the second phase and the mice were not dying from pneumonia.

The mice did eventually die, but it took much longer and probably resulted from a bloodstream infection.

Goldman said the study indicated this protein is essential for the normal progression of pneumonic plague, and that without it the disease stalls in the first phase, perhaps giving antibiotics time to work.

The protein is a type called a protease that breaks down other proteins. Drugs called protease inhibitors targeting these proteins have been used against other infectious diseases, including AIDS.

According to the World Health Organization, about 1,000 to 3,000 cases of plague are reported every year with 10 to 15 cases in the United States every year.

Source: Bio-Bio Technology
SRI
'"/>




Related medicine news :

1. Scientists plan human cloning clinic in the United States
2. Scientists found ancient Human Germ Killer
3. Scientists locate key hormone involved in appetite control
4. Scientists open the book of life
5. Scientists review SARS
6. Scientists crack dengue fever puzzle
7. Scientists push to lower hidden sodium in food
8. Indian Scientists Make Wide-Ranging Analysis And Annotation Of X Chromosome
9. Scientists have found effective brain regions for deep brain stimulation for Parkinson’s
10. Scientists reveal the secrets of sarcasm
11. Scientists Unveil Mechanism Behind Resistance to Severe Malaria
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... Many women are confused ... endometriosis. These women need a treatment plan to not only alleviate symptoms and ... help for preservation of fertility and ultimately achieving a pregnancy. The specialists at ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... "With 30 hand-drawn hand gesture animations, FCPX users can easily ... of Pixel Film Studios. , ProHand Cartoon’s package transforms over 1,300 hand-drawn pictures ... . Simply select a ProHand generator and drag it above media or text in ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary of ... award to iHire in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. , ... Workplace Health & Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire was ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... , ... June 19, 2016 is World Sickle Cell Observance Day. In an ... of holistic treatments, Serenity Recovery Center of Marne, Michigan, has issued a ... Cell Disease (SCD) is a disorder of the red blood cells, which can cause ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... CA (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... is now offering micro-osteoperforation for accelerated orthodontic treatment. Dr. Cheng has extensive experience ... Damon brackets , AcceleDent, and accelerated osteogenic orthodontics. , Micro-osteoperforation is ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Guerbet announced today that it has been named a ... One of 12 suppliers to receive the ... of Premier members through exceptional local customer service and ... lower costs. "We ... customer service from Premier," says Massimo Carrara , ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 Research and ... Procedure Volumes: Global Analysis (United States, China, Japan, Brazil, ... report to their offering. ... for healthcare business planners, provides surgical procedure volume data ... trends with an in-depth analysis of growth drivers and ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... The Biotechnology industry might still ... great opportunities to investors. Stock-Callers.com assesses the recent performances ... XON ), Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ... ARNA ), and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ... your complimentary trade alerts at: http://stock-callers.com/registration ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: