Scientists have unraveled the mechanism by which Pseudomonas aeruginosa - a bacteria responsible for hospital infections invades the human body escapes the neutrophils and causes infection.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a rod shaped, airborne disease-causing bacterium, a pathogen commonly found in patients with low immunity and in patients who have been hospitalised.
Besides hospital-borne infections like pneumonia, Pseudomonas aeruginosa is also responsible for urinary tract infections (UTIs), respiratory infections and other afflictions.
These infections can lead to complications and even death.
"Be it burns, wounds, you name it, this bug is present," Mandal, head of the Cancer Biology and Inflammatory Disorder Division, Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR)-Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, told IANS.
Neutrophils, which form the first line of defence, are the most abundant class of white blood cells that help the body to fight infection.
They protect the body against invading pathogens like bacteria and parasites and remove wastes, foreign substances and other cells in a process where they eat or engulf these particles.
According to the study published in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology in 2012, as part of the evasive tactics used by the bacterium, it first picks up specific sugar molecules called sialic acid (sias) from its environment (the human body in this case) and surrounds itself with it.
Highlighting the importance of the research, microbiologist Nemai Bhattacharya of the School of Tropical Medicine told IANS: "These bacteria are difficult to deal with because of their capability to resist common antibiotics. They have been found to grow in antiseptic solutions as well. Studies such as the one done by the scientists provide valuable insights into the bacterium's activities."