Staph, short for Staphylococcus aureus, is a germ commonly found on the skin or in the nose, sometimes causing infections. In the Mayo study, mice were exposed to low doses of a protein found in staph and developed a lupus-like disease, with kidney disease and autoantibodies like those found in the blood of lupus patients.
The findings are published online this month in The Journal of Immunology. The next step is to study lupus patients to see if the staph protein in question plays a similar role in humans, says co-author Vaidehi Chowdhary, M.D., a Mayo Clinic rheumatologist.
"We think this protein could be an important clue to what may cause or exacerbate lupus in certain genetically predisposed patients," Dr. Chowdhary says. "Our hope is to confirm these findings in lupus patients and hopefully prevent flares."
Another key question is whether treating at-risk people to eradicate staph can prevent lupus from forming in the first place. Lupus occurs when the immune system attacks tissues and joints. It may affect virtually any part of the body and can be tough to diagnose because it often mimics other ailments. There is no cure, only treatment to control symptoms. Lupus is more commonly diagnosed in women, African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians and people 15 to 40.
The cause is often unknown; it appears people genetically predisposed to lupus may develop it when something in the environment triggers it, such as infections, certain drugs or even sunlight.
Physicians do not really know what causes lupus, so the discovery of the staph protein's possible role is exciting, Dr. Chowdhary says.
In the mice studied, a staph protein known as a staphylococcal enterotoxin B, or SEB, activated autoreactive T and B lymphocytes, a type of white blood cells, leading to an inflammatory illness mirroring lupus. Research on people has shown that carrying staph bacteria is linked to autoimmune diseases such as psoriasis, Kawasaki disease and graulomatosis with polyangiitis.
The lupus study was funded by the National Institutes of Health, an American College of Rheumatology Research and Education Foundation Career Development Bridge Funding Award, a Ronald F. Kinney Executive Dean for Research Career Development Award from Mayo Foundation and a Mayo Clinic Research Early Career Development Award.
The research team included Ashenafi Tilahun; Chad Clark; Joseph Grande, M.D., Ph.D.; and Govindarajan Rajagopalan, Ph.D., all of Mayo Clinic.
About Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit worldwide leader in medical care, research and education for people from all walks of life. For more information, visit http://www.mayoclinic.org/about and www.mayoclinic.org/news.Contact:
New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)
Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
28.04.2017 | Event News
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering
28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences
28.04.2017 | Life Sciences