Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researchers Identify New Adherence Factor, Pili, Produced By Tuberculosis

Date:
March 6, 2007
Source:
University of Arizona Health Sciences Center
Summary:
Researchers at the University of Arizona College of Medicine's Department of Immunobiology have discovered that the agent that causes tuberculosis (TB), Mycobacterium tuberculosis, produces a new type of virulence factor called Mycobacterium Tuberculosis Pili (MTP). Their findings suggest that MTP could be a promising, new TB-vaccine candidate. Worldwide, three million people die each year from tuberculosis and an estimated 1.2 billion are infected with the bacteria.

Researchers at The University of Arizona College of Medicine's Department of Immunobiology have discovered that the agent that causes tuberculosis (TB), Mycobacterium tuberculosis, produces a new type of virulence factor called Mycobacterium Tuberculosis Pili (MTP). Their findings suggest that MTP could be a promising, new TB-vaccine candidate.

The study, "Mycobacterium tuberculosis produces pili during human infection," published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Volume 104, March 5-9, 2007, could spur further scientific investigations on TB, which is the No. 1 cause of bacterial infectious disease in the world today. Worldwide, 3 million people die each year from tuberculosis and an estimated 1.2 billion are infected with the bacteria.

Virulence factors, such as MTP, are essential for causing disease in the host. Pili, also called fimbriae, are hair-like adhesive structures that facilitate the initial attachment and subsequent colonization of bacteria on human cells during bacterial infections.

Many other bacteria that cause human disease produce similar adhesive factors known as pili or fimbriae that play a critical role in allowing infections to develop in the patient. This is the first report of pili being produced by M. tuberculosis.

"Tuberculosis remains the most devastating bacterial cause of human mortality today. Despite improved diagnosis, surveillance, and treatment regimens, the incidence of TB increases annually. The ability to combat this deadly pathogen hinges on the dissection and understanding of the mechanisms of pathogenesis for M. tuberculosis," writes Christopher Alteri, PhD, a former UA graduate student who is principal author on this study.

This important work was part of his dissertation research at the UA under the direction of Richard L. Friedman, PhD, professor of immunobiology. Dr. Alteri now is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Michigan Medical School. Jorge A. Girón, PhD, UA assistant professor of immunobiology, and Juan Xicohténcatal, PhD, his postdoctoral fellow, collaborated on this study.

If M. tuberculosis pili are important for the bacillus to establish infections in humans, as with other microbes, then MTP could be considered an attractive new TB vaccine candidate, according to the study. Presently, there is a great need to develop more effective immunization strategies against this devastating disease.

Focusing on the pili adhesive factor produced by M. tuberculosis, which may enable the bacillus to colonize and grow within the human host, the UA experiments demonstrated that when the gene for pili is inactivated, the bacteria do not bind as well to host surface cell proteins, said Dr. Friedman. Serum from TB patients was found to have antibodies to MTP, which indicates that the pili are produced by the bacteria during human infection.

While most tuberculosis infections and deaths occur in Africa, Asia and India, the United States has experienced recent outbreaks. "AIDS patients, who do not have intact immune systems, are highly susceptible to TB infection. This is a major reason for the worldwide increase in the incidence of TB. This increase also is associated with poverty, the growing numbers of homeless, alcohol- and drug-abusing populations, as well as with the emergence of multi-drug resistant strains of M. tuberculosis. Such strains constitute a very serious public health problem because they cannot be treated with any of the most commonly used anti-tuberculosis antibiotics, resulting in high mortality and rates of transmission," said Dr. Friedman.

In addition to Drs. Alteri, Friedman, Girón and Xicohténcatl, researchers who participated in this study are Sonja Hess, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and Guillermo Caballero-Olín, Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social, Mexico.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Arizona Health Sciences Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Arizona Health Sciences Center. "Researchers Identify New Adherence Factor, Pili, Produced By Tuberculosis." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 March 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070305202717.htm>.
University of Arizona Health Sciences Center. (2007, March 6). Researchers Identify New Adherence Factor, Pili, Produced By Tuberculosis. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070305202717.htm
University of Arizona Health Sciences Center. "Researchers Identify New Adherence Factor, Pili, Produced By Tuberculosis." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070305202717.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

AP (July 22, 2014) — Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on the legality of the federally-run healthcare exchange that operates in 36 states. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) — The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Newsy (July 22, 2014) — Boston scientists have discovered a new way to create fully functioning human platelets using a bioreactor and human stem cells. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) — New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
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