Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Giardia loses its hold on intestinal tissue after 'tonic shock'

04.12.2007
Suggesting new ways to break the parasite's grip

Known in America chiefly as the bane of hikers, the single-celled intestinal parasite Giardia lamblia is a major cause of diarrheal illness worldwide with estimates of 100 million infections a year. The parasite colonizes the upper small intestine by fastening to the microvillus brush border of intestinal cells.

But exactly how Giardia attaches itself was unknown until now. At the American Society for Cell Biology annual meeting, University of California, Berkeley researchers present evidence that Giardia uses an osmotic “suction cup” to hang on, a discovery that could make attachment a prime target for new treatments of Giardia infections.

Osmotic pressure is measured in terms of tonicity, the difference in concentration of a substance in solution on opposite sides of a semipermeable membrane. It is a powerful force in the biological world and tightly regulated in the human body. Tonicity, however, fluctuates in the small intestine during fasting and after eating.

... more about:
»Giardia »TONIC »intestinal »parasite

Using video microscopy, the researchers challenged Giardia attached to different surfaces with conditions of low and high tonicity. The researchers found that Giardia detached rapidly in response to both lowering and raising the tonicity, yet the parasite was able to adapt to a new tonicity after only a few minutes of exposure.

But experiments with Giardia attached to monolayers of human intestinal epithelial cells revealed that a large percentage of the parasites could be forced to detach when exposed to a timed pattern of high and low “tonic shock.”

The researchers believe that the susceptibility of attached Giardia to tonicity changes can be traced to an unusual cellular structure on the parasite called the ventral disk. They believe it acts as a suction cup of sorts but with the “suction” created by osmotic pressure from a concentration imbalance between the outside environment and the fluid trapped beneath the ventral disk.

As a potential focus of treatment, Giardia’s osmotic grip may prove to be its Achilles heel.

John Fleischman | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ascb.org

Further reports about: Giardia TONIC intestinal parasite

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth
09.12.2016 | Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

nachricht Plant-based substance boosts eyelash growth
09.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Polymerforschung IAP

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>