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!
Rutgers-led innovation could spur faster, cheaper, nano-based manufacturing
14.02.2018 | Rutgers University
New study from the University of Halle: How climate change alters plant growth
12.01.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.
But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...
Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.
The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
22.02.2018 | Life Sciences
22.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
22.02.2018 | Earth Sciences