Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New findings in the war on the tubercle bacterium

09.03.2011
Tuberculosis kills two million people each year and is once again gaining ground also in Sweden and other Western countries. Researchers at Linköping University in Sweden are now presenting new findings that show how the tubercle bacterium manages to survive inside the body’s macrophage cells in order eventually to blow them up and spread their infection.

The bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis is a successful organism that lives in an estimated one third of the world’s population. But only about five percent of those infected develop the disease.

“We also know that many people do not become infected despite exposure to the infection. This is a question we are looking for an answer to,” says Amanda Welin, who is now presenting her doctoral dissertation in medical microbiology.

The research group has studied phenomena in both the bacterium and the macrophage, whose task is to knock out infectious substances that get into the body.

One weapon is enzymes, which make the ingested bacteria feel sickly. Enzymes work best in acidic environments, with a pH level under 6. For their part, the bacteria can strike back by releasing substances that prevent the pH level from going down. Amanda Welin has shown that this warfare is directly reflected in the growth or reduction of bacteria.

These bacteria also have a capacity to kill macrophages and spread to new cells. Welin shows that this is done by having a tiny protein cause cell death, necrosis, which in turn leads to inflammation of the tissue.

To carry out these studies, Amanda Welin and her colleagues developed a new method for determining the number of bacteria inside a cell. They use a gene from sea-fire organisms, which cause strange lights in seawater at night. When this gene is added to the genes of the bacterium, the bacterium begins to produce the same luminescent substance, luciferase, as the sea-fire organism does. Thanks to this, it’s possible to monitor developments inside the macrophage – the intensity of the light radiating outward corresponds to the number of bacteria inside. If their number grows, this indicates that they have begun to multiply inside the human cell.

The method can be used to search for plausible drug candidates. In that field, the Linköping scientists are collaborating with a group of colleagues in Sudan, who are testing, among other things, various medicinal plants with substances that could possibly be used as active ingredients to combat tuberculosis.

The dissertation Survival strategies of Mycobacterium tuberculosis inside the human macrophage is published by LiU Electronic Press, It was publicly defended at Linköping University on March 4, 2011.

Contact:Amanda Welin: mobile phone: +46 (0)705-464749, amanda.welin@liu.se

Anika Agebjörn | idw
Further information:
http://www.vr.se
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-65452

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht A novel socio-ecological approach helps identifying suitable wolf habitats
17.02.2017 | Universität Zürich

nachricht New, ultra-flexible probes form reliable, scar-free integration with the brain
16.02.2017 | University of Texas at Austin

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Biocompatible 3-D tracking system has potential to improve robot-assisted surgery

17.02.2017 | Medical Engineering

Real-time MRI analysis powered by supercomputers

17.02.2017 | Medical Engineering

Antibiotic effective against drug-resistant bacteria in pediatric skin infections

17.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>