Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Genome-wide Analysis Provides Detailed Understanding Of Flesh-Eating Bacteria Epidemics

Date:
July 27, 2004
Source:
NIH/National Institute Of Allergy And Infectious Diseases
Summary:
New research using nearly a dozen different genomic testing procedures has revealed unprecedented detail about the molecular characteristics and virulence of group A streptococcus (GAS), the "flesh-eating" bacteria.

New research using nearly a dozen different genomic testing procedures has revealed unprecedented detail about the molecular characteristics and virulence of group A streptococcus (GAS), the "flesh-eating" bacteria, according to scientists at the Rocky Mountain Laboratories (RML), part of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the National Institutes of Health.

The study, conducted by an international team led by RML scientist James M. Musser, M.D., Ph.D., will appear in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences online sometime this week.

"This work indicates that using extensive genome-wide molecular analyses is an important new strategy for understanding how and why pathogens emerge," notes NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. "What's more, the method can be applied to other bacterial and viral pathogens by adjusting the techniques and strategies."

Previous studies, Dr. Musser says, substantially underestimated genetic diversity in bacteria because these studies neither employed the array of molecular techniques they did nor analyzed a comprehensive database of patient samples.

"Before the advent of genome sequencing and genome-wide analysis methods, our knowledge of molecular characteristics of pathogenic bacterial infections in distinct populations was extremely limited," says Dr. Musser.

In the new study, the RML team identified previously unknown genetic distinctions in M3 strains of GAS, revealing why only some strains rapidly expand to cause epidemics. All GAS strains can cause serious infections, Dr. Musser says, but the M3 strains are unusually virulent.

Dr. Musser explains that shortly after 2002, when he and his colleague Stephen Beres, Ph.D., at RML completed a genome sequence of the serotype M3 GAS, they turned their attention to using the new information to molecularly dissect two epidemics of life-threatening GAS infections, or necrotizing fasciitis--the "flesh-eating" syndrome. The study involved analyzing hundreds of patient cultures obtained over 11 years from Ontario, Canada, in epidemiologic studies conducted by Donald Low, M.D., and Allison McGeer, M.D., of the Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto.

"We proposed an extensive collaboration that would mesh the RML GAS genomic analysis information with the Ontario patient samples and epidemiologic information to provide new understanding of these two GAS epidemics," Dr. Musser says. The Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, with which Dr. Musser is also affiliated, also contributed to the project.

Dr. Musser's team analyzed a comprehensive sample of GAS cultures collected from patients between 1992 and 2002. Using the new genetic tools, the team discovered previously unknown genetic shifting and the evolution of new M3 strains, particularly in the peak epidemic years of 1995 and 2000. For the first time, scientists were able to unravel, on a genome-wide basis, the complex molecular events underpinning the emergence of new epidemic waves of bacterial infection.

The discoveries should help scientists develop better ways to control GAS infection, including vaccine development and new therapies. GAS infections can range from mild skin infection or strep throat to invasive, life-threatening conditions such as toxic shock syndrome and necrotizing fasciitis. Strep throat, along with minor skin infections, are the most common forms of the disease.

Experts estimate that more than 10 million GAS infections occur every year in the United States. In addition, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 9,000 cases of severe GAS disease were reported in 2002.

###

NIAID is a component of the National Institutes of Health, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIAID supports basic and applied research to prevent, diagnose and treat infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections, influenza, tuberculosis, malaria and illness from potential agents of bioterrorism. NIAID also supports research on transplantation and immune-related illnesses, including autoimmune disorders, asthma and allergies.

Reference: S Beres et al. Genome-wide molecular dissection of serotype M3 Group A Streptococcus strains causing two epidemics of invasive infections. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences DOI:10.1073/PNAS.0404163101.

Press releases, fact sheets and other NIAID-related materials are available on the NIAID Web site at http://www.niaid.nih.gov.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NIH/National Institute Of Allergy And Infectious Diseases. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NIH/National Institute Of Allergy And Infectious Diseases. "Genome-wide Analysis Provides Detailed Understanding Of Flesh-Eating Bacteria Epidemics." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 July 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/07/040727085129.htm>.
NIH/National Institute Of Allergy And Infectious Diseases. (2004, July 27). Genome-wide Analysis Provides Detailed Understanding Of Flesh-Eating Bacteria Epidemics. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/07/040727085129.htm
NIH/National Institute Of Allergy And Infectious Diseases. "Genome-wide Analysis Provides Detailed Understanding Of Flesh-Eating Bacteria Epidemics." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/07/040727085129.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) Wedged between buses, lorries and cars, cycling in London isn't for the faint hearted. Nevertheless the number of people choosing to bike in the British capital has doubled over the past 15 years. Duration: 02:27 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

AFP (Aug. 30, 2014) Authorities in Liberia try to stem the spread of the Ebola epidemic by raising awareness and setting up sanitation units for people to wash their hands. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
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