Borrelia bacteria are capable of masking themselves in the human body and deceiving the immune defence system. In this way they can hide in the human organism even for periods of years. In their recent studies Professor Seppo Meri and his team have managed to trace the evasive movements of the Borrelia bacterium in the body. Their work is part of the Microbes and Man research programme, jointly funded by the Academy of Finland and the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research.
When they first enter the human organism, Borrelia bacteria do not always cause very intense inflammation. However, they proliferate unnoticed and later on the symptoms get worse. The immune system is unable in this situation to respond because the bacterium actively prevents any defensive reactions.
Professor Meri and his team have found that Borrelia bacteria, which are carried by ticks and birds, are capable of absorbing the protein that controls human inflammation (complement factor H). Normally, antibodies and the complement would kill off the bacteria, but this ingenious kidnap operation allows the Borrelia bacteria to disguise themselves and avoid being killed or devoured by inflammation cells. Consequently, the bacteria can continue to proliferate in the body and even reach the brain. An advanced bacterium may lead to a serious condition known as neuroborreliosis, which among other things may cause chronic headache or facial nerve paralysis.
Tiina Pohjois-Koivisto | alfa
When Air is in Short Supply - Shedding light on plant stress reactions when oxygen runs short
23.03.2017 | Institut für Pflanzenbiochemie
WPI team grows heart tissue on spinach leaves
23.03.2017 | Worcester Polytechnic Institute
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...
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...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
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...
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...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
23.03.2017 | Life Sciences
23.03.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
23.03.2017 | Earth Sciences