Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New research from the University of Bristol aims to eliminate Streptococcus infections

06.03.2008
Professor Howard Jenkinson in the Department of Oral & Dental Science (Dental School) at the University of Bristol has been awarded a grant of £285,000 from The Wellcome Trust to research ways to combat diseases caused by Streptococcus bacteria.

Familiar to those who suffer from ‘strep’ throat, Streptococcus are the most common bacteria in the human mouth and throat. They are linked to a number of health problems, some mild, some life-threatening, ranging from tooth and gum disease to meningitis, pneumonia, endocarditis (inflammation of the inner layer of the heart) and necrotizing fasciitis (‘flesh-eating disease’).

Streptococcus are potent bacteria which are becoming increasingly resistant to treatment by antibiotics. The rate of severe invasive Streptococcus infections is about 60 per 100,000.

The bacteria cause disease in the body by first attaching to tissues. By looking at how this happens, Professor Jenkinson and his team will be able to develop new ways to block the bacteria. One goal is to reduce the rates at which disease-causing Streptococcus are transferred between humans.

This could be achieved by developing user-friendly vaccines or natural biological products, which can be taken by mouth, to eliminate the harmful bacteria. This approach lessens antibiotic usage and would significantly decrease infection rates in those most susceptible e.g. children, expectant mothers and the elderly.

Professor Jenkinson says, ‘Streptococcus bacteria are amongst the most commonly encountered in infections, and for the most part we depend totally on antibiotics to fight them. Our research will help develop new infection-control methods that do not rely on conventional antibiotics, and will also help identify people who are at higher risk of infections.’

The research will look at the interactions between a protein called AgI/II, which is found on the surface of Streptococcus bacteria, and a protein called gp340, which is found on teeth, in saliva and in airways.

The team will measure how ‘sticky’ the Streptococcus bacteria proteins are as they attach to gp340 on tissue surfaces. By pinpointing the sticky parts of the protein, the team will be able to identify which are responsible for streptococci invading and attacking the body. The research will look at how to block this process and thus develop new ways to prevent bacterial infection.

The study involves Drs Michele Barbour, Linda Franklin and Sarah Maddocks, also from the Department of Oral & Dental Science; Dr Aras Kadioglu, University of Leicester and Dr Nicklas Strömberg, Umeå University. The first results are due to be presented internationally in June 2008.

Dara O'Hare | alfa
Further information:
http://www.bristol.ac.uk
http://www.bris.ac.uk/news/2008/12017945171.html

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Team discovers how bacteria exploit a chink in the body's armor
20.01.2017 | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

nachricht Rabies viruses reveal wiring in transparent brains
19.01.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

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: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>