The bacterium that commonly causes stomach ulcers in humans is called Helicobacter pylori. Extensive research has been carried out on this bacterium and the two scientists who discovered it were awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine in 2005. However, in a small percentage of biopsies a similar but previously unidentified bacterium is present. Numerous research papers have described failed attempts to culture this microbe in the laboratory since it was first observed in 1990. Now, scientists from Belgium have succeeded.
"We have developed a new method to cultivate these bacteria and can now study their main characteristics and virulence properties," said Professor Dr Freddy Haesebrouck from Gent University in Belgium. The researchers had to recreate aspects of the bacterium's natural habitat, the stomach. They used acid, which kills other microbes but is needed for these bacteria to grow. Charcoal was used to remove substances that are toxic to the stomach bacterium. Genetic analysis revealed that it is a new species related to the common stomach ulcer bacterium Helicobacter pylori. Its name, Helicobacter suis, comes from the Latin for "of the pig".
H. suis has been associated with stomach ulcers in pigs, which may cause sudden death: a big problem for farmers. "The economic losses for the pork industry and the risk of the bacteria infecting humans justify the need for further research," said Dr Margo Baele from Gent University in Belgium. "Data shows that people in close contact with pigs have a higher risk of infection; this suggests H. suis is a zoonotic agent, capable of being transmitted from animals to humans."
"We know very little about how the bacterium infects humans and pigs and how it causes disease. Thanks to this research, pure isolates of H. suis are now available, bringing new perspectives to the study of this organism and its interaction with the host," says Professor Dr Freddy Haesebrouck.
The new technique will allow researchers to determine whether the bacterium is resistant to antibiotics. This will lead to better treatment strategies, both in pigs and humans. The researchers hope it may also result in the development of an effective vaccine.
Lucy Goodchild | alfa
Flavins keep a handy helper in their pocket
25.04.2018 | University of Freiburg
Complete skin regeneration system of fish unraveled
24.04.2018 | Tokyo Institute of Technology
At the Hannover Messe 2018, the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und-prüfung (BAM) will show how, in the future, astronauts could produce their own tools or spare parts in zero gravity using 3D printing. This will reduce, weight and transport costs for space missions. Visitors can experience the innovative additive manufacturing process live at the fair.
Powder-based additive manufacturing in zero gravity is the name of the project in which a component is produced by applying metallic powder layers and then...
Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have developed a high-power laser system that generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum. The researchers envisage a wide range of applications for the technology – in the early diagnosis of cancer, for instance.
Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of...
University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.
Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.
Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.
Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...
Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.
The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
09.04.2018 | Event News
25.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
25.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
25.04.2018 | Information Technology