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.
Spread of deadly eye cancer halted in cells and animals
13.11.2018 | Johns Hopkins Medicine
Breakthrough in understanding how deadly pneumococcus avoids immune defenses
13.11.2018 | University of Liverpool
Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.
Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...
Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...
On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.
When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure
Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...
Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly
The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...
09.11.2018 | Event News
06.11.2018 | Event News
23.10.2018 | Event News
13.11.2018 | Life Sciences
13.11.2018 | Life Sciences
13.11.2018 | Awards Funding