Salmonella are microscopic living creatures that can contaminate almost any food type, causing diarrhoea, abdominal pain and fever. Scientists know that Salmonella – which can also cause typhoid fever – has evolved unique mechanisms to prevent the body's immune system from functioning effectively, but until now it was not understood how it survives so successfully in the environment.
Scientists at Liverpool, in collaboration with the Institute for Animal Health, have shown that Salmonella use a secretion system to protect themselves inside amoeba – a single-celled organism living on land and in the water. The research suggests that amoeba may be a major source of Salmonella within the environment and could play a significant role in transmission of infection to man and animals.
Salmonella uses a system, called SP12 type III, which acts as a bacterial machine inside organisms and causes disease in humans, animals and plants. The system employs a 'syringe-like' mechanism to inject bacteria into cells that would normally release compounds to rid the body of harmful substances. This system changes the structure of the cell and prevents these compounds from coming into contact with pathogens and destroying them.
Dr Paul Wigley, from the National Centre for Zoonosis Research, based at the University's Leahurst campus, explains: "Salmonella has managed to survive extremely successfully in the environment, finding its way into our food and causing illness, despite the body's best efforts to fight it off. We found that it uses a system which operates in the human immune system as well as inside amoeba living in the environment. This system essentially protects Salmonella within cellular compartments, called phagosomes, where it can survive and multiply.
"Its ability to survive in amoeba is a huge advantage to its continued development as it may be more resistant to disinfectants and water treatment. This means that we need to work to understand ways of controlling amoeba in water supplied to animals and prevent it acting as a 'Trojan Horse' for Salmonella and other pathogens."
The research, supported by the Society for Applied Microbiology, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), and the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), is published in Applied and Environmental Microbiology.
Samantha Martin | EurekAlert!
Further reports about: > Applied and Environmental Microbiology > Disinfectants > Salmonella > Salmonella transmission > Trojan horse > abdominal pain > amoeba > body's immune system > cellular compartments > diarrhoea > fever > immune system > microbiology > microscopic living creatures > phagosomes > single-celled organism > syringe-like mechanism > typhoid fever > water treatment
Bare bones: Making bones transparent
27.04.2017 | California Institute of Technology
Link Discovered between Immune System, Brain Structure and Memory
26.04.2017 | Universität Basel
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
03.04.2017 | Event News
27.04.2017 | Life Sciences
27.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
27.04.2017 | Earth Sciences