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

Reprogramming E. Coli to Combat Hard to Treat Bacterial Infections

by Bidita Debnath on October 5, 2013 at 11:19 PM
Font : A-A+

 Reprogramming E. Coli to Combat Hard to Treat Bacterial Infections

The notorious bacteria E. coli is well known for making people sick. But scientists have reprogrammed the microbe, which also comes in harmless varieties, to make it seek out and fight other disease-causing pathogens.

The researchers' report appears in the journal ACS Synthetic Biology and describes development of this new type of E. coli that can even kill off slimy groups of bacteria called biofilms that are responsible for many hard-to-treat infections, such as those that take hold in the lungs, the bladder and on implanted medical devices.

Advertisement

Matthew Wook Chang and colleagues explain that biofilm infections are difficult to treat because the bacteria hide away under a protective barrier of sugars, DNA and proteins. That shield makes them very resistant to conventional therapies. In addition, overuse of antibiotics in medicine and agriculture also have made some bacteria, such as MRSA, shrug off most known treatments, making at least 2 million Americans sick every year. This growing public health threat has motivated scientists to look for new antibiotics and alternative treatments to beat infections. In the past, researchers made bacteria that fight off other microbes, but they had limitations. Chang's team addressed those limitations by making a new kind of bacterial "gun-for-hire" that can sense an infection, swim toward it and kill off the disease-causing microbes.

They reprogrammed E. coli to sense Pseudomonas aeruginosa — a bacteria that can form biofilms and causes hospital-acquired infections in the lungs and the gut. The new E. coli then swims directly toward P. aeruginosa and launches an attack with an antimicrobial peptide and an enzyme that breaks down biofilms. Though the researchers successfully tested their engineered microbe on P. aeruginosa, they say that their engineering strategy could be used to combat other pathogens as well.

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
Contraceptive Pills in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) Curtail Type 2 Diabetes Risk
Mushroom May Help Cut Down the Odds of Developing Depression
How to Battle Boredom during COVID
View all

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

More News on:
E. coli Infection / Escherichia coli Infection 

Recommended Reading
Scientists: Human Cases of Infection Could Be Cut by 85 Percent On Vaccinating Cattle Against E. Coli O157
Scientists have found that vaccinating cattle against the E. coli O157 bacterium could cut th...
Research: Intestinal Bacteria Protect Against E. Coli O157:H7
According to research, a cocktail of non-pathogenic bacteria naturally occurring in the digestive .....
Susceptibility to E. Coli Infection may be Increased by High Fiber Diets
A new study has said that consuming diets higher in fiber may increase the risk for Escherichia c...
Significant Rise Observed in Drug-Resistant E. Coli Infections
Researchers are reporting a significant increase in the number of infections caused by an ......
E. coli Infection / Escherichia coli Infection
E. coli is a type of gram negative bacteria that lives in the gastrointestinal tract of people and a...

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