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 Unique brain 'fingerprint' can predict drug effectiveness
11.07.2018 | McGill University

nachricht Direct conversion of non-neuronal cells into nerve cells
03.07.2018 | Universitätsmedizin der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

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: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Subaru Telescope helps pinpoint origin of ultra-high energy neutrino

16.07.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Barium ruthenate: A high-yield, easy-to-handle perovskite catalyst for the oxidation of sulfides

16.07.2018 | Life Sciences

New research calculates capacity of North American forests to sequester carbon

16.07.2018 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>