Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Researchers find possible target to treat deadly bloodstream infections

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have discovered a possible target to treat bloodstream bacterial infections.

Most bacterial pathogens can invade the bloodstream, which can lead to severe sepsis, a syndrome that kills about 215,000 of the 750,000 people affected in the United States each year, according to a study published in the journal Critical Care Medicine.

"The growth of bacterial pathogens in blood represents one of the most dangerous stages of infection," said Alexander Mankin, professor and associate director of UIC's Center for Pharmaceutical Biotechnology. "Before we can discover an antibiotic to treat bloodstream infections, we first had to discover which enzymes are essential for bacteria to live in the bloodstream.

"Our major goal was to identify genes that are critical for the survival and growth of bacteria in blood."

The study appears in the February issue of the journal PLoS Pathogens.

A graduate student in Mankin's laboratory, Shalaka Samant, infected human blood in a test tube with E. coli bacteria, a major cause of bloodstream infections in hospitalized patients.

Using a novel technique developed in Mankin's laboratory, Samant discovered that 19 E. coli mutants out of more than 4,000 she tested could not grow in blood. The majority of the mutants carried a deletion of a gene involved in making nucleotides, the building blocks of DNA and RNA.

The result suggested that the biosynthesis nucleotides is crucial for the growth of the bacteria in human blood, Samant said.

Samant expanded her research to another bloodstream pathogen -- Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax.

"There are few treatment options available for the late stages of anthrax infections," Samant said. "We found that, similar to E. coli, anthracis bacilli that could not biosynthesize nucleotides also were unable to grow in blood."

To add to Samant's study, a team of researchers led by Dr. James Cook, chief of infectious diseases, immunology and internal medicine at the University of Illinois Medical Center at Chicago, showed Bacillus anthracis mutants that were unable to synthesize nucleotides were not able to infect mice. After they were infected with anthrax, the mice remained healthy, with no bacteria detected in their blood.

Mankin said the enzymes of nucleotide biosynthesis could make excellent antibiotic targets. The UIC Center for Pharmaceutical Biotechnology is now working to identify drugs that inhibit these enzymes.

Sam Hostettler | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Scientists develop tiny tooth-mounted sensors that can track what you eat
22.03.2018 | Tufts University

nachricht NIH scientists describe potential antibody treatment for multidrug-resistant K. pneumoniae
14.03.2018 | NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

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: Researchers Discover New Anti-Cancer Protein

An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.

The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...

Im Focus: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

Im Focus: Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.

In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Modular safety concept increases flexibility in plant conversion

22.03.2018 | Trade Fair News

New interactive map shows climate change everywhere in world

22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

New technologies and computing power to help strengthen population data

22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>