Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Study Suggests New Way to Prevent Recurrent Ear Infections

Eliminating bacteria’s DNA and boosting antimicrobial proteins that already exist may help prevent middle ear infections from reoccurring. These are the findings from a Nationwide Children’s Hospital study that examined how an immune defense protein common in the middle ear interacts with a structure meant to protect a colony of bacteria.

The bacterium nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHI) causes a wide range of diseases of both the lower and upper airways, including middle ear infection. NTHI, like most other bacteria, can form a biofilm, a robust community of bacteria that allows the bacteria to evade the host’s immune system and protects the bacteria from antibiotics and other therapies designed to kill them.

Human beta-defensin-3 is an antimicrobial defense protein expressed in the middle ear of humans and other mammals that kills both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. Previous research has shown that if expression of beta-defensin is disrupted, the host’s ability to control the bacteria in the upper airway is altered and infection worsens.

Investigators in The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital hypothesized that human beta-defensin-3 might lose its power to kill NTHI if it got caught up within the extracellular DNA that makes up a biofilm’s outer layer, thus preventing its contact with bacteria within the biofilm.

“Antimicrobial host defense proteins, like human beta-defensin-3, have been shown to bind to non-host DNA,” says Lauren O. Bakaletz, PhD director of the Center for Microbial Pathogenesis“This interaction has an impact on the defense protein’s ability to function.”

Upon examining their animal model of middle ear infection, Dr. Bakaletz’ team found that bacterial DNA and the animal’s defense peptides were detected together in biofilms that developed during infection. Also, the defense peptide was predominantly co-localized with the biofilm’s extracellular DNA.

When the team exposed the bacteria that cause ear infections to a concentration of human-beta defensin-3 that is typically detected in the a middle ear of a child with active infection, the peptide was able to kill 100 percent of the NTHI, but the killing stopped when extracellular DNA was introduced to the reaction.

“These data support the conclusion that the killing activity of the antimicrobial defense protein was decreased in an NTHI-induced biofilm due to its interaction with eDNA,” says Dr. Bakaletz, who is the lead study author and professor of Pediatrics and Otolaryngology at The Ohio State University College of Medicine.

When they removed extracellular DNA from the biofilm, the killing activity of the defense peptide was rescued.

“The ability to restore antimicrobial defense protein activity is encouraging, since biofilms are resistant to most treatments, including traditional antibiotics,” says Dr. Bakaletz.

Dr. Bakaletz says this study provides evidence for a new treatment regimen to target biofilms formed by NTHI during middle ear infection. One approach would be to deliver a therapeutic agent that can disrupt bacterial DNA, in conjunction with human beta-defensin-3 to the middle ear of a child with chronic, recurrent infection. Physicians could follow the same pathway used to target the middle ear during ear tube surgery, a common treatment for chronic ear infections.

“This approach would likely bolster the ability of the innate immune system to manage NTHI-induced biofilms, avoiding the need for antibiotics or empowering the use of antibiotics we already have in our arsenal,” says Dr. Bakaletz. “Doing so could help diminish the recurrent nature of middle ear infection.”

Jones EA, McGillivary G, Bakaletz LO. Extracellular DNA within a Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae -Induced Biofilm Binds Human Beta Defensin-3 and Reduces Its Antimicrobial Activity. J Innate Immun. 2012 Aug 22. [Epub ahead of print]

Erin Pope | Newswise Science News
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht New potential cancer treatment using microwaves to target deep tumors
12.10.2016 | University of Texas at Arlington

nachricht Breakthrough in Mapping Nicotine Addiction Could Help Researchers Improve Treatment
04.10.2016 | UT Southwestern Medical Center

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: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Innovative technique for shaping light could solve bandwidth crunch

20.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

Finding the lightest superdeformed triaxial atomic nucleus

20.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

NASA's MAVEN mission observes ups and downs of water escape from Mars

20.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

More VideoLinks >>>