Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Trudeau Institute reports new approach to treating Listeria infections

18.10.2011
Strategy could lead to new treatments for sepsis

Research underway at the Trudeau Institute could lead to new treatments for people sickened by Listeria and other sepsis-causing bacteria. Dr. Stephen Smiley's laboratory has published a study in the scientific journal Infection and Immunity that supports a new approach to treating these infections.

Listeria can cause serious illness, especially among the elderly, the very young and those with compromised immune systems. The bacteria can also cause significant complications in pregnant women, including miscarriage.

The CDC is reporting that one miscarriage and 23 deaths can be attributed to a recent outbreak of Listeria infections in the United States caused by tainted cantaloupes; 116 persons from 25 states have been infected with the outbreak-associated strains.

Ingestion of Listeria usually causes a limited gastrointestinal illness; however, the bacteria sometimes spread to other parts of the body, resulting in a deadly sepsis. Despite decades of medical research, severe infections caused by Listeria and other bacteria that cause sepsis, like MRSA, still threaten human health.

The Trudeau Institute study demonstrates that mice that have been genetically modified so they cannot produce factor XI (FXI), a specific blood-clotting factor, have an improved capacity to withstand injection with high doses of Listeria. The study also shows that normal mice treated with both an antibody targeting FXI along with antibiotics show improved survival during septic Listeria infection, as compared with mice treated with antibiotics alone.

These findings suggest FXI-targeted therapeutics may be useful for treating severe infections caused by Listeria and other sepsis-causing bacteria.

This recent work builds on a long history of Listeria research at the Trudeau Institute. In the 1960s the Institute's first director, Dr. George B. Mackaness, advanced the use of mouse models to study how cells of the immune system combat Listeria. He discovered that activated macrophages play a critical role in killing Listeria. He also discovered that lymphocytes, another type of immune cell, orchestrate this killing response. These seminal observations remain the foundation for modern studies of cell-mediated defense against pathogens.

The Trudeau Institute's second director, Dr. Robert J. North, extended this work by identifying the key subset of anti-Listeria lymphocytes: T cells. Dr. North and his Trudeau colleagues also described crucial roles for NK cells and neutrophils.

Several years ago, Dr. Smiley discovered that blood-clotting proteins also play critical protective roles during immune defense against Listeria. "I was really intrigued by our finding that clotting protects against Listeria because so many other studies had shown that clotting clogs blood vessels and contributes to organ failure and death during septic infections," said Dr. Smiley.

"Our finding suggested that some degree of blood clotting is essential for effective immune defense, but too much is harmful. We set out in search of ways to prevent the bad clotting while maintaining the good."

Specifically, Dr. Smiley's lab looked for clotting factors that appeared to be hyperactive in the septic state.

"The paper we've just published is our first demonstration of this exciting new approach to treating sepsis – we found that FXI is overproduced during septic Listeria infections and that therapeutics targeting FXI can reduce septic disease while maintaining immune defense."

Postdoctoral fellow Deyan Luo, assisted by Frank Szaba and Larry Kummer, led the research in the Smiley lab. Dr. Lawrence Johnson from the Trudeau Institute, Dr. David Gailani from Vanderbilt University, and Drs. Andras Gruber and Erik Tucker from the Oregon Health & Science University also made essential contributions.

About the Trudeau Institute

The Trudeau Institute is an independent, not-for-profit, biomedical research organization, whose scientific mission is to make breakthrough discoveries leading to improved human health. Trudeau researchers are identifying the basic mechanisms used by the immune system to combat viruses like influenza, mycobacteria, such as tuberculosis, parasites and cancer, so that better vaccines and therapies can be developed for fighting deadly disease.

The research is supported by government grants and philanthropic contributions.

Kim Godreau | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.trudeauinstitute.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht What happens in the cell nucleus after fertilization
06.12.2016 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt

nachricht Researchers uncover protein-based “cancer signature”
05.12.2016 | Universität Basel

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

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...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

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

Robot on demand: Mobile machining of aircraft components with high precision

06.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

A new dead zone in the Indian Ocean could impact future marine nutrient balance

06.12.2016 | Earth Sciences

Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

06.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>