Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Anthrax Research Might Provide More Time For Treatment

Date:
July 31, 2003
Source:
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Summary:
Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., have been awarded new federal grant money to develop experimental compounds that may someday extend the period during which a person exposed to anthrax can be treated successfully.

TROY, N.Y. – Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., have been awarded new federal grant money to develop experimental compounds that may someday extend the period during which a person exposed to anthrax can be treated successfully. Ravi Kane, assistant professor of chemical and biological engineering at Rensselaer has been awarded a grant of $500,000 from the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) to develop inhibitors of the anthrax toxin. The inhibitors will be tested in collaboration with Dr. Jeremy Mogridge at the University of Toronto.

The potentially deadly disease anthrax is caused by a toxin secreted by the spore-forming bacterium Bacillus anthracis. Antibiotics can kill the bacteria and, started early enough, offer successful treatment in many cases. Standard antibiotic treatment has no effect on the amount of toxin that builds up in the blood over time, however, making speedy treatment crucial.

Standing in the Way of Infection

"An effective anthrax inhibitor would be able to prevent the toxin from binding to receptors on the human cell, thereby hindering the toxin from doing any damage," Kane said. Unlike antibiotics, which can kill the bacteria but do not affect the toxin, an inhibitor also would be able to reduce levels of toxin that have been released into the body. Once levels of toxin have been lowered, standard antibiotic treatment also would be administered to kill all remaining bacteria. "Combined with standard antibiotic treatment, a toxin inhibitor would enable the successful treatment of anthrax at later stages of the disease and allow many more lives to be saved," Kane said.

New Option for Prevention

Heightened awareness of the ability to deliver anthrax spores through the air, combined with the high mortality rate of the inhaled form of the disease, has led to the use of the spores as a biological weapon. An anthrax vaccine currently is available, but large-scale use is not practical, says Kane. "An anthrax inhibitor also might be able to function as a preventive agent," says Kane, "and could be used as an alternative to passive immunotherapy." The inhibitor agent could be more affordable and shelf-stable, making such a treatment suitable for stockpiling.

Kane's anthrax inhibitor research is part of Rensselaer's overall effort to advance biotechnology discoveries for the benefit of public health, the environment, homeland security, bioterrorism, and for positive economic development locally and globally.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. "Anthrax Research Might Provide More Time For Treatment." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 July 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/07/030730075847.htm>.
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. (2003, July 31). Anthrax Research Might Provide More Time For Treatment. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/07/030730075847.htm
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. "Anthrax Research Might Provide More Time For Treatment." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/07/030730075847.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

AP (July 27, 2014) A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Russia Saves Gecko Sex Satellite, Media Has Some Fun With It

Russia Saves Gecko Sex Satellite, Media Has Some Fun With It

Newsy (July 27, 2014) The satellite is back under ground control after a tense few days, but with a gecko sex experiment on board, the media just couldn't help themselves. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins