Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

UTSA biology researchers demystify elusive war zone bacterium

19.08.2009
Acinetobacter baumannii causes mortality rates as high as 75 percent in Middle East

Tao Weitao, a researcher in the College of Sciences' Department of Biology at the University of Texas at San Antonio is making great strides in a project that was funded one year ago by the San Antonio Area Foundation.

The professor in the South Texas Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases is researching Acinetobacter baumannii, a soil-dwelling bacterium that threatens the health of military personnel in the Middle East and can also infect their family members once the soldiers have returned home following battle.

The symptoms of Acinetobacter infections are mild to severe and present in a variety of ways, but are mostly found in immunocompromised individuals. Signs may include urinary tract infections and respiratory infections post-surgery, pneumonia following health care treatment, bacteria in the blood, deep wound infections, bone and bone marrow infections, or skin and soft-tissue infection.

A year ago, very little was known about A. baumannii. Treatment of infected individuals was exceedingly difficult, because the bacterium was able to develop multi-drug resistance. Treatment was also impaired by the bacterium's ability to form biofilms: highly-resistant communities of bacteria which serve as a breeding ground for microorganisms infecting an individual.

In the last year, however, Weitao's collaborative research team has isolated proteins they believe help the bacterium form its biofilm. As the biologists continue their research, they hope to gain a better understanding of the mechanisms by which each protein helps A. baumannii propagate its deadly infections. Such an understanding will help develop effective therapeutic strategies to disrupt biofilm formation and diminish the risk of antimicrobial resistance emergence.

The San Antonio Area Foundation awarded funding to Weitao, in part, because San Antonio has such strong ties to the military.

"San Antonio has a proud history as a military city," said Retired Air Force Colonel Clarence R. "Reggie" Williams, president / CEO of the San Antonio Area Foundation. "The San Antonio Area Foundation is equally proud to partner with area donors in funding new medical research efforts impacting our military personnel and their families. Through innovative research and advancement, The University of Texas at San Antonio has successfully addressed many of the military community's most challenging health care needs. We're proud to support their efforts to 'make better lives' for everyone."

"Acinetobacter baumannii is an extremely threatening microbe that researchers desperately need to better understand," said Weitao. "Ultimately, we hope our research leads us to pathways we can target for the development of therapeutic or preventative strategies, that is effective antibiotics or vaccines, to keep the infection rate low."

Christi Fish | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.utsa.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Cryo-electron microscopy achieves unprecedented resolution using new computational methods
24.03.2017 | DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

nachricht How cheetahs stay fit and healthy
24.03.2017 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

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...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

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...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

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...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

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...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>