Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Flu remedies help combat E. coli bacteria

25.08.2015

If the intestinal bacteria level becomes unbalanced, it can cause diseases. Physiologists from the University of Zurich reveal how a specific carbohydrate in the intestinal mucosa heavily multiplies certain E. coli bacteria and thus causes inflammations. These could be treated with flu remedies, which opens up new therapeutic possibilities.

Trillions of bacteria populate the human gut – which makes them more common than any other cells in our body. The composition of this bacterial population is very variable and influenced by our diet.

Diseases, but also antibiotic treatments can induce significant shifts in this equilibrium. If entire bacterial groups suddenly multiply heavily, critical situations occur. They damage the intestinal tissue and cause inflammations. How such shifts are triggered largely remained a mystery.

Physiologists from the University of Zurich have now discovered why the intestinal bacterium Escherichia coli (E. coli) multiplies heavily and has an inflammatory effect.

A carbohydrate causes E. coli to multiply

In their normal state, E. coli are harmless and only make up around 0.1 percent of the intestinal flora. If present in large amounts, however, they can cause diarrhea or a serious intestinal inflammation. The Zurich study reveals that an overproduction of E. coli can be attributed to the availability of the carbohydrate sialic acid, which is found in large amounts in the proteins of the intestinal mucosa.

To actually be able to utilize the sialic acid, the bacteria enlist the aid of the enzyme sialidase, which is released by other intestinal bacteria. “It’s striking that E. coli doesn’t produce this kind of enzyme itself,” explains Thierry Hennet, a professor from the Institute of Physiology at the University of Zurich.

Hennet and his colleagues succeeded in demonstrating the complex chain of events involved in a severe inflammation triggered by E. coli: An injury to the intestinal mucosa initially causes the increased multiplication of a non-pathogenic bacteria, which emits sialidase. This increased enzyme production releases sialic acid, which facilitates an overproduction of E. coli and can thus cause intestinal inflammation.

Sialidase inhibitors combat intestinal inflammations

The researchers also discovered that the intake of a sialidase inhibitor prevents the excessive formation of E. coli and was thus able to alleviate the disease symptoms. Interestingly, such sialidase inhibitors were already developed against the influenza virus. “Derivatives of known flu agents such as Tamiflu and Relenza could therefore also be used for inflammatory intestinal diseases, which opens up new therapeutic possibilities,” says Hennet.

Literature:
Yen-Lin Huang, Christophe Chassard, Martin Hausmann, Mark von Itzstein, Thierry Hennet. Sialic acid catabolism drives intestinal inflammation and microbial dysbiosis in mice. Nature Communications. August 25, 2015. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms9141

Melanie Nyfeler | Universität Zürich
Further information:
http://www.uzh.ch/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht A Map of the Cell’s Power Station
18.08.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht On the way to developing a new active ingredient against chronic infections
18.08.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für Infektionsforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A Map of the Cell’s Power Station

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form

18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet

18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>