Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

NIH-supported scientists investigate a newly emerging staph strain

29.02.2012
Genome sequence analysis helps characterize transmissible bacterium

Using genome sequencing and household surveillance, National Institutes of Health (NIH) scientists and their colleagues from Columbia University Medical Center and St. George's University of London have pieced together how a newly emerging type of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria has adapted to transmit more easily among humans. Their new study underscores the need for vigilance in surveillance of S. aureus.

A methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) strain known as livestock-associated (LA)-ST398 is a cause of severe infections in people in Europe who have close contact with swine, but the bacterium does not transmit well from person to person. More recently, a variant of LA-ST398 that presently is susceptible to methicillin has emerged as a significant cause of community-associated infections in several countries, including the United States, Canada and China. The new strain primarily infects the skin and soft tissue, but it can cause more severe disease.

Based on samples from 332 households in northern Manhattan, New York, scientists have determined that this new strain, named ST398-NM, efficiently transmits from person to person—in contrast to the transmission characteristics of the livestock-associated strain.

By analyzing and comparing the genomes of LA-ST398 and ST398-NM, the study, led by Anne-Catrin Uhlemann, M.D., Ph.D., at Columbia, charted several ways in which the bacterium has adapted to its hosts. For example, they learned that the human-adapted strain (ST398-NM) contains human-specific immune evasion genes, whereas the livestock-adapted strain does not. They also found that ST398-NM adheres well to human skin, thus increasing its ability to colonize and infect people.

The study authors say it is possible that the ST398-NM strain emerging in northern Manhattan could acquire genes making it resistant to methicillin. Scientists at the NIH National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and their colleagues plan to continue global surveillance of ST398, paying close attention to its molecular adaptations. Their work promises to inform the development of new diagnostic and surveillance strategies against this emerging pathogen.

This study on the human-adapted variant of ST398 strain complements a study that a different group of scientists published in mBio on Feb. 21. That study, also supported by NIH, focused on the evolution of the ST398 strain in livestock, including the effect of antibiotic use. Lance Price, Ph.D., and Paul Keim, Ph.D., at the Translational Genomics Research Institute in Flagstaff, Ariz., led that study with colleagues from around the world.

A-C Uhlemann et al. Identification of a highly transmissible animal-independent Staphylococcus aureus ST398 with distinct genomic and cell adhesion properties. mBio DOI:10.1128/mBio.00027-12 (2012).

L Price et al. Staphylococcus aureus CC398: Host adaptation and emergence of methicillin resistance in livestock. mBio DOI: 10.1128/mBio.00305-11 (2012).

Frank DeLeo, Ph.D., Acting Chief, Laboratory of Human Bacterial Pathogenesis, NIAID. Dr. DeLeo is an expert in host innate immune interactions with bacteria and is one of the study authors.

To schedule interviews with Dr. DeLeo, please contact Ken Pekoc, (301) 402-1663, kpekoc@niaid.nih.gov.

NIAID conducts and supports research—at NIH, throughout the United States, and worldwide—to study the causes of infectious and immune-mediated diseases, and to develop better means of preventing, diagnosing and treating these illnesses. News releases, fact sheets and other NIAID-related materials are available on the NIAID Web site at http://www.niaid.nih.gov.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit http://www.nih.gov/.

NIH...Turning Discovery Into Health

Ken Pekoc | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.nih.gov

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht When Air is in Short Supply - Shedding light on plant stress reactions when oxygen runs short
23.03.2017 | Institut für Pflanzenbiochemie

nachricht WPI team grows heart tissue on spinach leaves
23.03.2017 | Worcester Polytechnic Institute

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

When Air is in Short Supply - Shedding light on plant stress reactions when oxygen runs short

23.03.2017 | Life Sciences

Researchers use light to remotely control curvature of plastics

23.03.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Sea ice extent sinks to record lows at both poles

23.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>