Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Typhoid Fever – A race against time

16.01.2014
The life-threatening disease typhoid fever results from the ongoing battle between the bacterial pathogen Salmonella and the immune cells of the body.

Prof. Dirk Bumann’s research group at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel has now uncovered how the typhoid pathogen repeatedly manages to evade the host’s immune system. Their findings are published in the scientific journal “Cell Host & Microbe”.


Salmonella-infected cells (macrophages in blue, monocytes in turquoise). Dead Salmonella (only yellow), surviving Salmonella (yellow and red).

Illustration: University of Basel

Typhoid fever is a bacterial infection caused by the pathogen Salmonella. The infected host’s immune system detects Salmonella and activates immune cells such as neutrophils and monocytes. These cells infiltrate the infected tissue and enclose the infection to form an abscess. Although most Salmonella bacteria are readily killed by this immune reaction, Dirk Bumann’s group has demonstrated that some escape from the abscess and thus ensure their survival.

Salmonella uses immune cells

Once outside the abscess, the Salmonella bacteria are attacked by other immune cells, the so-called macrophages that produce a less effective immune response. “Salmonella have developed a range of defense strategies to resist macrophage attacks. Many Salmonella are thus able to survive and even to replicate in macrophages,” explains Neil Burton, one of the two first authors. With time, abscesses form around the new infection foci but again some Salmonella bacteria can manage to escape.

“This drives the whole infection process further and makes typhoid fever particularly insidious,” says Nura Schürmann, also a first author of the publication.

A battle on many fronts

The whole disease process is a race between Salmonella and the immune system of the infected organism, in which the battle is fought on many fronts. In this process many Salmonella bacteria are killed and others survive to spread the infection. It is the net balance of the outcomes of these individual Salmonella and immune cell encounters which in the end determines the course of the illness.

Typhoid fever is a life-threatening infection in countries with poor hygiene. Each year, more than 20 million people are infected with this disease. The illness is transmitted by ingesting food or water contaminated with this bacterium. Once inside the intestine, Salmonella crosses the gut mucosa and spreads to other organs such as the spleen and liver. Growing antibiotic resistance makes this illness increasingly difficult to cure.

Understanding what factors enable Salmonella to win many encounters with host cells might provide new strategies in the treatment of typhoid fever. Similar heterogeneous encounters likely determine the fights between the host and many other pathogens. Findings of this study may thus be relevant for a wide range of infectious diseases.

Original Citation
Neil A. Burton, Nura Schürmann, Olivier Casse, Anne K. Steeb, Beatrice Claudi, Janine Zankl, Alexander Schmidt, Dirk Bumann
Disparate Impact of Oxidative Host Defenses Determines the Fate of Salmonella during Systemic Infection in Mice
Cell Host & Microbe, Volume 15, Issue 1, 72-83, 15 January 2014 |
doi: 10.1016/j.chom.2013.12.006
Further Information
Prof. Dr. Dirk Bumann, University of Basel, Biozentrum,
phone: +41 61 267 23 82, Email: dirk.bumann@unibas.ch

Olivia Poisson | Universität Basel
Further information:
http://www.unibas.ch
http://unibas.ch/index.cfm?uuid=8B97DAF7F3F274D35D46A5758BA461CC&type=search&show_long=1&&o_lang_id=2

Further reports about: Biozentrum Salmonella immune cell immune system typhoid typhoid fever

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Study shines light on brain cells that coordinate movement
26.06.2017 | University of Washington Health Sciences/UW Medicine

nachricht New insight into a central biological dogma on ion transport
26.06.2017 | Aarhus University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Study shines light on brain cells that coordinate movement

26.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Smooth propagation of spin waves using gold

26.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Switchable DNA mini-machines store information

26.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>