Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Salmonella Uses Hydrogen As An Energy Source, New Study Shows

Date:
November 29, 2004
Source:
University Of Georgia
Summary:
New research, headed by microbiologists from the University of Georgia, show for the first time that Salmonella – a widespread and often deadly bacterial pathogen – use molecular hydrogen to grow and become virulent. The discovery represents a way that diseases caused by Salmonella and other enteric infections could be lessened or even eliminated.

Color-enhanced scanning electron micrograph showing Salmonella typhimurium (red) invading cultured human cells.
Credit: Rocky Mountain Laboratories, NIAID, NIH

New research, headed by microbiologists from the University of Georgia, show for the first time that Salmonella – a widespread and often deadly bacterial pathogen – use molecular hydrogen to grow and become virulent. The discovery represents a way that diseases caused by Salmonella and other enteric infections could be lessened or even eliminated.

The research, just published in the journal Infection and Immunity, was led by Rob Maier, Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar and Ramsey Professor of Microbiology at UGA. Other authors of the paper from UGA were and researcher Adriana Olczak and research coordinator Susan Maier; and Shilpa Soni and John Gunn from Ohio State University.

"This builds on our earlier findings that major human pathogens are using an unexpected energy source," said Maier. "This new work expands our knowledge that molecular hydrogen is very important in the process of diseases caused by these organisms."

Such enteric pathogens as Salmonella are responsible for an estimated 2 million deaths a year and cause millions more cases of diarrheal illnesses, even in developed countries. Maier was the first to discover that hydrogen is not lost from the body as a waste product, as researchers previously thought, but remains at substantial levels and is an energy source for pathogenic bacteria. This knowledge that human pathogens can grow on hydrogen while residing in an animal may have profound implications for the treatment of some diseases.

In 2002, Maier published in the journal Science evidence that the gastric bacterium Helicobacter pylori, which gives rise to peptic ulcers, gastritis and some kinds of gastric cancers, needs hydrogen as an energy source. The new research extends those earlier findings to Salmonella.

The work has been possible because of the increasing number of entire genomes that are being sequenced for everything from bacteria to humans. Knowing the exact position of individual genes on the entire genome allows scientists a much richer understanding of how disease processes work than ever before.

"From the gene sequence we found that Salmonella was predicted to have three distinct membrane-associated enzymes that split molecular hydrogen using a unique metal center, which is composed of nickel, iron, cyanide and carbon monoxide," said Maier. "Humans don't make this kind of metal cluster in cells, and so it's an excellent target for therapeutic intervention. Also, making nickel unavailable to the cells by use of metal sequestering agents would be expected to stop the hydrogen using reactions required for growth of the bacterium."

The new research showed that each of the three membrane-associated, hydrogen-utilizing enzymes in Salmonella is coupled to a respiratory pathway that uses oxygen as the terminal electron acceptor. This permits growth of the pathogen.

Maier believed that these enzymes might enable bacteria to glean energy from the splitting of molecular hydrogen. Because the high-energy gas produced by the reactions of normal flora bacteria in the intestinal tract is freely diffusible, it can be measured within tissues colonized by pathogens. So, using mice as a model system, Maier and his colleagues were able to find that, indeed, Salmonella use molecular hydrogen as an energy source to grow and cause disease.

It should be noted that the team studied a type of Salmonella enterica called Typhimurium, a common food-poisoning bacterium closely related to a different strain of Salmonella that causes typhoid fever.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Georgia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Georgia. "Salmonella Uses Hydrogen As An Energy Source, New Study Shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 November 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/11/041129112654.htm>.
University Of Georgia. (2004, November 29). Salmonella Uses Hydrogen As An Energy Source, New Study Shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/11/041129112654.htm
University Of Georgia. "Salmonella Uses Hydrogen As An Energy Source, New Study Shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/11/041129112654.htm (accessed September 20, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

What This MIT Sensor Could Mean For The Future Of Robotics

What This MIT Sensor Could Mean For The Future Of Robotics

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) MIT researchers developed a light-based sensor that gives robots 100 times the sensitivity of a human finger, allowing for "unprecedented dexterity." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
MIT BioSuit A New Take On Traditional Spacesuits

MIT BioSuit A New Take On Traditional Spacesuits

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The MIT BioSuit could be an alternative to big, bulky traditional spacesuits, but the concept needs some work. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Music With Recycled Instruments at Colombia Fest

New Music With Recycled Instruments at Colombia Fest

AFP (Sep. 19, 2014) Jars, bottles, caps and even a pizza box, recovered from the trash, were the elements used by four musical groups at the "RSFEST2014 Sonorities Recycling Festival", in Colombian city of Cali. Duration: 00:49 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Virtual Reality Headsets Unveiled at Tokyo Game Show

Virtual Reality Headsets Unveiled at Tokyo Game Show

AFP (Sep. 18, 2014) Several companies unveiled virtual reality headsets at the Tokyo Game Show, Asia's largest digital entertainment exhibition. Duration: 00:48 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