Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Bacteria's sticky glue is clue to vaccine

10.09.2008
Sticky glue secreted by the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus could be the clue scientists have been searching for to make an effective vaccine against MRSA, medical researchers heard today (Wednesday 10 September 2008) at the Society for General Microbiology's Autumn meeting being held this week at Trinity College, Dublin.

Around one third of all people and many animals carry Staphylococcus aureus, which simply lives on most of us as a biofilm fairly harmlessly. Occasionally it causes minor spots on our skin, abscesses and soft tissue infections and some people can get infected over and over again.

On much rarer occasions it causes severe and life threatening infections that are significant medical problems. Many of these infections are made worse by the biofilm component of the overall disease, which helps to protect the bacteria from antibiotics.

"If individuals get infections many times, even after they have been cured by antibiotics, it indicates that their bodies have not become immune to Staph bacteria," said Professor Gerald Pier from Harvard Medical School in Boston, USA.

Staph bacteria tend to grow in cellular communities, particularly on medical devices commonly used on patients, producing what are called biofilm type infections. The devices range from simple catheters placed into blood vessels to those used for blood access for patients on dialysis to artificial heart valves, knees and hips. All patients with these types of devices in them have an increased risk for Staph infections. Living in biofilms protects the bacteria from antibiotics, making treatment more difficult.

"To grow as a biofilm the bacteria must produce sticky factors, one of which is a type of complex sugar called PNAG. We are targeting this material as a possible vaccine, but natural exposure to the sugar compound does not result in most people and animals making an immune response that would protect them from attack by the bacteria or recurring infections," said Professor Pier.

By manipulating the sugar chemically the scientists have discovered that they can produce variant forms which can be used as vaccines by causing the right type of immune response, an approach that has already been shown to work successfully in animal studies.

"We now have a way to tip the balance for resistance to infection back towards humans by vaccination," said Professor Pier. "It is most likely that one or more forms of the vaccine will be prepared to test in humans to see which form is best to get the most desirable antibodies made."

In addition, the researchers have created an antibody with the desired properties to give to people if they have a high risk of getting a Staph infection, thus preventing infection. "This antibody is being manufactured to start tests in humans in about 12 to 18 months," said Professor Pier. "An effective antibody treatment for Staph infections could have a major benefit for anyone who enters a hospital or works in the community and is at risk of Staph infections."

Lucy Goodchild | alfa
Further information:
http://www.sgm.ac.uk

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Research offers clues for improved influenza vaccine design
09.04.2018 | NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

nachricht Injecting gene cocktail into mouse pancreas leads to humanlike tumors
06.04.2018 | University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

Im Focus: Basel researchers succeed in cultivating cartilage from stem cells

Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.

Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...

Im Focus: Like a wedge in a hinge

Researchers lay groundwork to tailor drugs for new targets in cancer therapy

In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...

Im Focus: The Future of Ultrafast Solid-State Physics

In an article that appears in the journal “Review of Modern Physics”, researchers at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (LAP) assess the current state of the field of ultrafast physics and consider its implications for future technologies.

Physicists can now control light in both time and space with hitherto unimagined precision. This is particularly true for the ability to generate ultrashort...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Diamond-like carbon is formed differently to what was believed -- machine learning enables development of new model

19.04.2018 | Materials Sciences

Electromagnetic wizardry: Wireless power transfer enhanced by backward signal

19.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Ultrafast electron oscillation and dephasing monitored by attosecond light source

19.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>