How some bacteria outwit the immune system

February 25th, 2008 - 5:17 pm ICT by admin  

New York, Feb 25 (IANS) Researchers have identified a bacteria which moves unhindered about the body by outwitting our immune system. The bacteria, a common cause of ear infections among children, does so by means of “invisibility cloak” called sialic acid, which it fashions out of a captured molecule.

Researchers from the Departments of Biology and Chemistry at York discovered an enzymatic activity that helps in the more efficient capture of sialic acids, released from our cell surfaces.

Other bacteria also use similar methods to capture sialic acid as a simple food source, so are literally eating us from the inside!

Gavin Thomas who led the research said the novel enzyme, required for the formation of the ‘invisibility cloak,’ now offers the chance to develop anti-microbials against these bacteria.”

The work has been funded by Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).

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