Scientists discover toxin that causes gastro disease
Australian scientists have identified a highly potent toxin that causes severe gastrointestinal illnesses, including food poisoning.
The toxin, produced by certain strains of E. coli bacteria, has been found to be responsible for an outbreak of haemolytic uraemic syndrome, a dangerous disease that causes acute kidney failure, in South Australia in 1998.
The research team was led by Dr Adrienne Paton from the University of Adelaide, and included scientists from Monash University's ARC Centre of Excellence in Structural and Functional Microbial Genomics, and the United States.
Dr Travis Beddoe from Monash University's Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, is one of the investigators who discovered that the bacterial toxin, subtilase cytotoxin, deactivates an essential component of cells in the gastrointestinal tract.
"It is unique because it cuts an essential component of the cell machinery in half, therefore disabling it," he said.
As well as learning how the toxin works, the scientists have also determined its three-dimensional structure, which will aid in the development of treatments for toxin-related diseases.
"This toxin belongs to the family of toxins that cause whooping cough, a very serious bacterial infection that affects children," Dr Beddoe said.
He said the research breakthrough may also provide insights into the development of age-related and degenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease, and may be used in the treatment of some cancers.
The collaborative research was supported by the National Health and Medical Research Council and the Australian Research Council. The research findings are published in the latest issue of the journal Nature.
For more information contact Ms Robyn Anns, Media Communications on +61 3 9905 9317 or 0417 568 781.
Penny Fannin | EurekAlert!
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
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...
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...
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...
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...
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)...