Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Novel therapeutic approach shows promise against multiple bacterial pathogens

01.06.2010
Finding may offer future alternative to antibiotics

A team of scientists from government, academia and private industry has developed a novel treatment that protects mice from infection with the bacterium that causes tularemia, a highly infectious disease of rodents, sometimes transmitted to people, and also known as rabbit fever.

In additional experiments with human immune cells, the treatment also demonstrated protection against three other types of disease-causing bacteria that, like the tularemia bacteria, occur naturally, can be highly virulent, and are considered possible agents of bioterrorism.

The experimental therapeutic works by stimulating the host immune system to destroy invading microbes. In contrast, antibiotics work by directly attacking invading bacteria, which often develop resistance to these medications. The therapeutic has the potential to enhance the action of antibiotics and provide an alternative to them.

"A therapeutic that protects against a wide array of bacterial pathogens would have enormous medical and public health implications for naturally occurring infections and potential agents of bioterrorism," says Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the National Institutes of Health. "This creative approach is a prime example of public-private partnerships that can facilitate progress from a basic research finding to new, desperately needed novel therapeutics."

Catharine Bosio, Ph.D., and her colleagues at NIAID's Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Hamilton, Mont., led the study. Study collaborators are from Colorado State University in Fort Collins and Juvaris Biotherapeutics of Burlingame, Calif. The study is available online in the open-access journal PLoS Pathogens.

In the study, the researchers combined components isolated from the membrane of a weakened strain of Francisella tularensis, the agent of tularemia, with the Juvaris product CLDC (cationic liposome DNA complexes). The combination stimulated a natural antibacterial mechanism, called reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS), in immune cells that ingest bacteria. ROS and RNS attack and kill invading bacteria, preventing replication and spread of the pathogens to other cells.

Sixty percent of mice in the study survived lethal pulmonary infection with virulent F. tularensis when treated with the therapeutic intravenously three days before the bacterial challenge. No mice survived when given the bacterial components or the CLDC alone, demonstrating the importance of combining both to maximize protection in mouse and human cells. The treatment also showed broad usage, protecting human immune cells from bacteria that cause plague, melioidosis and brucellosis as well as tularemia. Melioidosis is primarily a tropical disease spread to humans and animals through contaminated soil and water. Brucellosis is a disease that primarily affects animals, including humans who come in contact with infected animals or animal products, such as contaminated milk.

According to Dr. Bosio, the three-day advance treatment appears crucial to providing enough time to stimulate the immune system. Any treatment less than three days in advance failed to protect the mice, she said.

"We are continuing to improve the versatility of this treatment as an antibacterial therapeutic with respect to timing of delivery and efficacy," she says. "Meanwhile, CLDC plus membrane protein fractions is proving to be an excellent tool to determine how to safely and successfully stimulate the body's own antibacterial army to protect itself against highly infectious invaders."

The research team will continue to study the precise role that membrane protein fractions play in combination with CLDC, and how the combination affects the production of RNS and ROS in cells from mice and from humans.

For more information, visit NIAID' Tularemia Web page at http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/tularemia/Pages/research.aspx.

NIAID conducts and supports research—at NIH, throughout the United States, and worldwide—to study the causes of infectious and immune-mediated diseases, and to develop better means of preventing, diagnosing and treating these illnesses. News releases, fact sheets and other NIAID-related materials are available on the NIAID Web site at http://www.niaid.nih.gov.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH)—The Nation's Medical Research Agency—includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research, and it investigates the causes, treatments and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit http://www.nih.gov.

Reference: R Ireland et al. Effective, broad spectrum control of virulent bacterial infections using cationic DNA liposome complexes combined with bacterial antigens. PLoS Pathogens 6(5): e1000921. DOI:10.1371/journal.ppat.1000921 (2010).

Ken Pekoc | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.niaid.nih.gov

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht A 'half-hearted' solution to one-sided heart failure
24.11.2017 | Boston Children's Hospital

nachricht New study points the way to therapy for rare cancer that targets the young
22.11.2017 | Rockefeller University

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 proton record: Researchers measure magnetic moment with greatest possible precision

High-precision measurement of the g-factor eleven times more precise than before / Results indicate a strong similarity between protons and antiprotons

The magnetic moment of an individual proton is inconceivably small, but can still be quantified. The basis for undertaking this measurement was laid over ten...

Im Focus: Frictional Heat Powers Hydrothermal Activity on Enceladus

Computer simulation shows how the icy moon heats water in a porous rock core

Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

IceCube experiment finds Earth can block high-energy particles from nuclear reactions

24.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 'half-hearted' solution to one-sided heart failure

24.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

Heidelberg Researchers Study Unique Underwater Stalactites

24.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>