About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Mechanism Revealed That Prevents Lethal Bacteria from Causing Invasive Disease

by Bidita Debnath on July 8, 2014 at 10:43 PM
Font : A-A+

 Mechanism Revealed That Prevents Lethal Bacteria from Causing Invasive Disease

An important development in understanding how the bacterium that causes pneumonia, meningitis and septicaemia remains harmlessly in the nose and throat has been discovered.

The research took place at the University of Liverpool's Institute of Infection and Global Health. Streptococcus pneumoniae is a 'commensal', which can live harmlessly in the nasopharynx as part of the body's natural bacterial flora. However, in the very young and old it can invade the rest of the body, leading to serious diseases such as pneumonia, sepsis and meningitis, which claim up to a million lives every year worldwide.

Advertisement

However, the conditions that drive this bacterium from harmless commensal to major pathogen are not understood.

Scientists at the University have now uncovered the mechanisms by which this occurs and how it is regulated by the host immune system.

They found that a specialised group of white blood cells called T regulatory cells are activated by the pneumococcus and move to dampen down a damaging pro-inflammatory response from the host immune system.
Advertisement

When white blood cells attack bacteria they cause inflammation and, if this inflammation is uncontrolled it can become excessive and damage host tissues, allowing the bacteria to spread into the rest of the respiratory system and other organs in the body.

The first author of the study, immunologist Dr Daniel Neill said: "These bacteria are quite happy to live in your nose and it's not in their interests to spread and kill their host. This is why they activate T regulatory cells: to keep the immune system in check and ensure their own survival.

"Our findings suggest induction of T regulatory cell responses in the upper airways reduces the risk of inflammatory damage that could lead to bacterial invasion and the development of disease."

"Understanding this process can now lead us to investigate how the bacteria go from this state to causing lethal infections."

The senior author of the study, Professor Aras Kadioglu said: "Vaccines are an essential part of our fight against this disease and have been highly successful.

"However, they do not protect us against all strains of pneumococci. Therefore, understanding the key immunological interactions with the pneumococcus, in the very first site they enter and colonise the human body is crucial to future development of better vaccines."

"In this study we have revealed how there is a delicate balance between the ability of the pneumococcus to colonise the host nasopharynx and the critical need of the immune system to prevent damaging inflammation in this key site."

"We hope that this will lead to developing novel therapies based on modulating the host immune system to prevent subsequent invasive disease."

The paper 'Density and Duration of Pneumococcal Carriage Is Maintained byTransforming Growth Factor b1 and T Regulatory Cells', was published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Health Benefits of Giloy
Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2021 - It's time to RISE
First-Ever Successful Pig-To-Human Kidney Transplantation
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Shigellosis MRSA - The Super Bug Food Safety for Health Antibiotics 

Recommended Reading
Ocean Bacteria Is A Natural Source Of Producing Toxic Fire Retardants
The common type of ocean bacteria is natural source of producing compounds, which are nearly ......
Chemical Fire Retardant Synthesizing Marine Bacteria Discovered
A group of marine bacteria which synthesizes compounds similar to toxic man-made fire retardants ......
Scientists Develop New Material That Improves Wound Healing, Keeps Bacteria from Sticking
Treating wounds has now become more sophisticated than sewing stitches and applying gauze, however, ...
Gut Bacteria Composition Changes in Type 2 Diabetics and Obese People
A new study reveals that the composition of gut microbiota was different in Type 2 diabetes ......
Antibiotics
Antibiotics are among the most used and abused medications. This article explains some general featu...
MRSA - The Super Bug
MRSA infection is the most dreaded hospital or community acquired infection that can become ......
Shigellosis
Shigellosis or Bacillary Dysentery is a common cause of gastro-enteritis worldwide and can cause blo...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use