The method may also have applications for bacterial infections associated with severe burns and cystic fibrosis. The results were published online January 18 in the journal Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science.
“Infections by the bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa can cause severe scarring and vision loss when they spread to the cornea,” said senior author Jerry Nick, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine at National Jewish Health. “By breaking apart a molecular scaffolding that encases the organisms and makes them more difficult to eradicate, we were able to significantly reduce bacterial infection of the cornea.”
The eye normally fights infections through a variety of defense mechanisms including blinking of the eyes, which helps remove bacterial organisms from the surface of the eye. Contact lenses, however, inhibit the effectiveness of blinking eyelids.
Thus, bacteria can adhere to the surface of the contact lens that sits against the eye. If those bacteria infect the corneal surface they can destroy the delicate corneal cells, which can lead to scarring and vision loss. The condition is known as microbial keratitis, and affects about two to four lens wearers per 10,000 each year.
Eye infections can be treated with antibiotics. However, it can be difficult to eliminate the bacteria on the contact lenses, especially when they form a biofilm. A biofilm is a matrix that harbors and encases communities of the organisms, making them harder to eradicate.
The researchers confirmed earlier findings that cellular debris from immune cells fighting the infection actually provide the raw materials for the biofilm – DNA, actin and histones. So, they used the enzyme DNAase together with negatively charged poly aspartic acid to break down the chemical bonds of these elements that support the biofilm.
This treatment reduced biofilms on the contact lenses by 79.2 percent. The same treatment reduced infection of the cornea in an animal model by 41 percent. There was no evidence of any harm caused by the treatments. (Abstract)
“These are vey promising early results that point to potentially new methods for removing bacterial biofilms from contact lens surfaces, thereby reducing the risk of microbial keratitis, as well as the for the treatment of infections by Pseudomonas that are associated with cystic fibrosis and severe burns,’ said Danielle Robertson, OD, PhD, first author and Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at UT Southwestern, and first author on the study.
William Allstetter | EurekAlert!
New study points the way to therapy for rare cancer that targets the young
22.11.2017 | Rockefeller University
Penn study identifies new malaria parasites in wild bonobos
21.11.2017 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.
Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
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22.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
22.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy