Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Progress toward a new remedy for chronic urinary tract infections?

10.02.2005


Researchers from the Flanders Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology (VIB) at the Free University of Brussels have recently published results that show promise in the quest for a new remedy for chronic urinary tract infections. The researchers have shown that administration of the sugar Heptyl-á-D-mannoside can prevent E. coli bacteria from binding to the wall of the urinary tract − which is the first step in the development of the infection.



A widespread problem

Urinary tract and bladder infections are among the most prevalent bacterial infections and can be quite painful. Fifty percent of all women are confronted by these unpleasant infections at some point in their lives. The disorder is an especially severe problem when it becomes chronic − whereby some patients experience symptoms almost continually. The Escherichia coli bacterium is responsible for 80% of these urinary tract infections. Treatment with antibiotics is possible but does not preclude a recurrence of the infection. In addition to this, more and more bacteria are becoming resistant to the antibiotics. For these reasons, scientists have been busy seeking another solution.


Prevention is better than cure

Julie Bouckaert and her co-researchers, under the direction of Henri De Greve, have discovered a way to prevent E. coli bacteria from adhering to the wall of the urinary tract, so that they can no longer cause infection. Because E. coli bacteria use very particular hair-like projections (called pili) to cling to tissues − the first stage of a potential inflammation − a drug that can prevent this attachment can also avert bladder and urinary tract inflammations.

Combating certain bonds

Bouckaert and De Greve have investigated the way in which the E. coli bacteria attach themselves. This attachment takes place by means of a reaction between the protein ‘Adhesine FimH’ on the tips of the pili and special receptors on the wall of the urinary tract. The researchers hypothesized that they could prevent this binding by administering a substance that would have a greater affinity with Adhesine FimH than with the receptors on the urinary tract. Then, the E. coli binding places would be so captivated by this particular substance that they would no longer be able to cling to the wall of the urinary tract.

Their search for such a substance proved fruitful. Via crystallography and affinity determinations, they demonstrated that the bacteria bind very strongly to the structure of the Heptyl-á-D-mannoside sugar. This binding is strong enough to prevent the bacteria from attaching themselves to the urinary tract wall. Therefore, administration of Heptyl-á-D-mannoside could prevent bladder infections. This finding opens possibilities for the development of a new medication for chronic urinary tract infections.

Sooike Stoops | alfa
Further information:
http://www.vib.be

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht One gene closer to regenerative therapy for muscular disorders
01.06.2017 | Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

nachricht The gut microbiota plays a key role in treatment with classic diabetes medication
01.06.2017 | University of Gothenburg

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: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>