In the current study, the researchers examined how these antibodies interact with pneumococcal bacteria and found that they cause the bacteria to clump together, enhancing a phenomenon called quorum sensing.
"Quorum sensing is a way that bacteria communicate with one another," explained senior author Liise-anne Pirofski, M.D., professor of medicine and of microbiology & immunology, chief of infectious diseases at Einstein and Montefiore Medical Center, the University Hospital for Einstein, and the Selma and Dr. Jacques Mitrani Professor in Biomedical Research at Einstein. "Here, the ability of antibodies to enhance quorum sensing causes the bacteria to express genes that could kill some of their siblings, something called fratricide, and weaken the defense mechanisms that enable bacteria to survive and grow in a hostile environment."
The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases estimates that 175,000 people are hospitalized with pneumococcal pneumonia in the United States each year. In addition, pneumococcal bacteria cause 34,500 bloodstream infections and 2,200 cases of meningitis annually.
There are two pneumococcal vaccines: one for adults and one for infants and children. The pediatric pneumococcal conjugate vaccine has dramatically reduced the incidence of pneumococcal disease in children and adults by protecting vaccinated children and by reducing person-to-person transmission of the bacterium, (a phenomenon known as herd protection). However, the vaccine doesn't cover all strains of disease-causing pneumococcus, and the vaccine currently used for adults does not prevent pneumonia. Fortifying current pneumococcal vaccines to stimulate antibodies that make pneumococcal bacteria less able to protect themselves — or kill them directly — could enhance their effectiveness.
The paper is titled "Antibodies to Streptococcus pneumoniae Capsular Polysaccharide Enhance Pneumococcal Quorum Sensing." Co-authors include lead author Masahide Yano, Ph.D, Shruti Gohil, M.D., J. Robert Coleman, Ph.D., and Ph.D. candidate Catherine Manix, all of Einstein. The research was supported by research and training grants from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health.
Kim Newman | EurekAlert!
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...
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
03.04.2017 | Event News
24.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.04.2017 | Materials Sciences
24.04.2017 | Life Sciences