Scientists find Salmonella’s weaknessMay 25th, 2009 - 5:06 pm ICT by IANS
London, May 25 (IANS) Scientists seem to have found the achilles heel of a food poisoning pathogen like salmonella - its weakness for glucose. This discovery could provide a new way to vaccinate against Salmonella, or lead to vaccine strains to protect against other disease-causing bacteria, including superbugs.
“This is the first time that anyone has identified the nutrients that sustain Salmonella while it is infecting a host’s body,” said Arthur Thompson from the Institute of Food Research in Britain.
The nutrition of bacteria during infection is an emerging science. This is one of the first major breakthroughs, achieved in collaboration with Gary Rowley at the University of East Anglia.
Salmonella bug infects around 20 million people worldwide every year, of whom about 200,000 die annually. It also infects farm animals and salad vegetables.
During infection, Salmonella bacteria are engulfed by immune cells designed to kill them. But instead, the bacteria multiply. The bacteria must acquire nutrients to replicate and thus, the scientists focused on glycolysis, the process by which sugars are broken down to create chemical energy.
They constructed Salmonella mutants unable to transport glucose into the immune cells they occupy and unable to use glucose as food. These mutant strains lost their ability to replicate within immune cells, rendering them harmless
“Our experiments showed that glucose is the major sugar used by Salmonella during infection,” said Thompson.
The mutant strains still stimulate the immune system, and the scientists have filed patents on them which could be used to develop vaccines to protect people and animals against poisoning by fully virulent salmonella, said an East Anglia release.
The next stage of the research will be to test whether the mutants elicit a protective immune response in mice.
- Salmonella's sweet tooth may pave way for a vaccine against it - May 20, 2009
- Nitric oxide can ward off deadly infections - Jul 24, 2011
- How salmonella bacteria spread in humans - Oct 01, 2010
- Salmonella bugs could prevent food poisoning - Apr 13, 2012
- Humanized mice paves way for better typhoid fever treatment - Sep 23, 2010
- Salmonella could be used to fight cancer - Mar 10, 2011
- Mechanism affecting Salmonella virulence, drug susceptibility discovered - Jul 30, 2010
- Salmonella-based shots hold promise against fatal diseases - Jun 30, 2011
- Deadly bugs lurk in raw vegetables - Aug 16, 2011
- Vaccine made with synthetic gene shows promise against pneumonia - Feb 22, 2011
- Anthrax shot protects simians from lethal infection - Jan 13, 2012
- Spacebound bacteria inspire earthly remedies - Mar 22, 2011
- Salmonella is the new weapon against cancer - Aug 12, 2010
- Chicken vaccines mutate into new virus - Jul 16, 2012
- Farm animals new source of drug resistant superbugs - Sep 23, 2010
Tags: achilles heel, arthur thompson, chemical energy, disease causing bacteria, east anglia, emerging science, farm animals, food poisoning, glucose, immune cells, institute of food research, mutant strains, mutants, pathogen, protective immune response, rowley, salad vegetables, salmonella bacteria, university of east anglia, vaccine strains