Certain strains of Salmonella bacteria such as Salmonella Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium) are among of the most common causes of food-borne gastroenteritis.
Other strains of Salmonella such as S. Typhi are responsible for typhoid fever, which causes 200,000 deaths around the world each year. Ensuring food is clear of contamination, and water is clean are key to reducing the effects Salmonella can have, but we also need more effective ways to combat Salmonella once it's inside our bodies.
To address this the Institute of Food Research, strategically supported by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, has been studying S. Typhimurium bacteria to understand, not only how they transmit through the food chain, but why they are so effective and dangerous once inside us.
If we consume food or water contaminated with S. Typhimurium, the first stage of infection is to get into the cells that line our gut. These epithelial cells are adapted to defend against such attacks, but Salmonella has a wealth of strategies to overcome these and make it more virulent. It also needs these virulence genes to overcome the cells of the immune system, which it invades to move around the body.
We are learning a lot about these virulence genes, but until this new study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, we didn't know how Salmonella fuelled itself for this. A source of energy and nutrition is vital, and knowing what Salmonella uses could inform new strategies to prevent infection.
To discover more about Salmonella's feeding habits, Dr Arthur Thompson and his team constructed S. Typhimurium strains lacking certain key genes in important metabolic pathways. They then examined how well these mutated strains reproduced in human epithelial cells, grown in cultures.
"We found that glucose is the major nutrient used by S. Typhimurium," said Dr Thompson. Salmonella converts glucose to pyruvate in a process called glycolysis, which also releases energy needed to fuel growth and reproduction.
Knocking out one enzyme in glycolysis, and enzymes used to transport glucose into the bacteria severely reduced S. Typhimurium's ability to reproduce in epithelial cells, but didn't eradicate it completely. "This suggests that although S. Typhimurium requires glucose, it is also able to use other nutrients, and that's something we're now studying," said Dr Thompson.
This contrasts with previous findings from similar experiments on macrophage cells by the IFR team, as for successful macrophage invasion, glycolysis is absolutely essential. Macrophages are the immune cells sent to destroy Salmonella, but instead Salmonella invades the macrophages. Infected macrophages can carry Salmonella around the body causing a potentially fatal systemic infection.
"We now have a much more complete picture of the nutritional needs of Salmonella, which is important since this information may also suggest new ways to develop potential therapeutic interventions," said Dr Thompson.
Andrew Chapple | Eurek Alert!
Chains of nanogold – forged with atomic precision
23.09.2016 | Suomen Akatemia (Academy of Finland)
Self-assembled nanostructures hit their target
23.09.2016 | King Abdullah University of Science and Technology
The Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP has been developing various applications for OLED microdisplays based on organic semiconductors. By integrating the capabilities of an image sensor directly into the microdisplay, eye movements can be recorded by the smart glasses and utilized for guidance and control functions, as one example. The new design will be debuted at Augmented World Expo Europe (AWE) in Berlin at Booth B25, October 18th – 19th.
“Augmented-reality” and “wearables” have become terms we encounter almost daily. Both can make daily life a little simpler and provide valuable assistance for...
With the help of artificial intelligence, chemists from the University of Basel in Switzerland have computed the characteristics of about two million crystals made up of four chemical elements. The researchers were able to identify 90 previously unknown thermodynamically stable crystals that can be regarded as new materials. They report on their findings in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.
Elpasolite is a glassy, transparent, shiny and soft mineral with a cubic crystal structure. First discovered in El Paso County (Colorado, USA), it can also be...
For the first time, Fraunhofer IKTS shows additively manufactured hardmetal tools at WorldPM 2016 in Hamburg. Mechanical, chemical as well as a high heat resistance and extreme hardness are required from tools that are used in mechanical and automotive engineering or in plastics and building materials industry. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS in Dresden managed the production of complex hardmetal tools via 3D printing in a quality that are in no way inferior to conventionally produced high-performance tools.
Fraunhofer IKTS counts decades of proven expertise in the development of hardmetals. To date, reliable cutting, drilling, pressing and stamping tools made of...
At AKL’16, the International Laser Technology Congress held in May this year, interest in the topic of process control was greater than expected. Appropriately, the event was also used to launch the Industry Working Group for Process Control in Laser Material Processing. The group provides a forum for representatives from industry and research to initiate pre-competitive projects and discuss issues such as standards, potential cost savings and feasibility.
In the age of industry 4.0, laser technology is firmly established within manufacturing. A wide variety of laser techniques – from USP ablation and additive...
Every three years, the plastics industry gathers at K, the international trade fair for plastics and rubber in Düsseldorf. The Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will also be attending again and presenting many innovative technologies, such as for joining plastics and metals using ultrashort pulse lasers. From October 19 to 26, you can find the Fraunhofer ILT at the joint Fraunhofer booth SC01 in Hall 7.
K is the world’s largest trade fair for the plastics and rubber industry. As in previous years, the organizers are expecting 3,000 exhibitors and more than...
23.09.2016 | Event News
20.09.2016 | Event News
16.09.2016 | Event News
23.09.2016 | Life Sciences
23.09.2016 | Health and Medicine
23.09.2016 | Life Sciences