Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Possible Target To Treat Deadly Bloodstream Infections Discovered

Date:
March 3, 2008
Source:
University of Illinois at Chicago
Summary:
Researchers have discovered a possible target to treat bloodstream bacterial infections. Most bacterial pathogens can invade the bloodstream, which can lead to severe sepsis, a syndrome that kills about 215,000 of the 750,000 people affected in the United States each year, according to a study in Critical Care Medicine.

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have discovered a possible target to treat bloodstream bacterial infections.

Most bacterial pathogens can invade the bloodstream, which can lead to severe sepsis, a syndrome that kills about 215,000 of the 750,000 people affected in the United States each year, according to an earlier study, published in the journal Critical Care Medicine.

"The growth of bacterial pathogens in blood represents one of the most dangerous stages of infection," said Alexander Mankin, professor and associate director of UIC's Center for Pharmaceutical Biotechnology. "Before we can discover an antibiotic to treat bloodstream infections, we first had to discover which enzymes are essential for bacteria to live in the bloodstream.

"Our major goal was to identify genes that are critical for the survival and growth of bacteria in blood."

A graduate student in Mankin's laboratory, Shalaka Samant, infected human blood in a test tube with E. coli bacteria, a major cause of bloodstream infections in hospitalized patients.

Using a novel technique developed in Mankin's laboratory, Samant discovered that 19 E. coli mutants out of more than 4,000 she tested could not grow in blood. The majority of the mutants carried a deletion of a gene involved in making nucleotides, the building blocks of DNA and RNA.

The result suggested that the biosynthesis nucleotides is crucial for the growth of the bacteria in human blood, Samant said.

Samant expanded her research to another bloodstream pathogen -- Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax.

"There are few treatment options available for the late stages of anthrax infections," Samant said. "We found that, similar to E. coli, anthracis bacilli that could not biosynthesize nucleotides also were unable to grow in blood."

To add to Samant's study,* a team of researchers led by Dr. James Cook, chief of infectious diseases, immunology and internal medicine at the University of Illinois Medical Center at Chicago, showed Bacillus anthracis mutants that were unable to synthesize nucleotides were not able to infect mice. After they were infected with anthrax, the mice remained healthy, with no bacteria detected in their blood.

Mankin said the enzymes of nucleotide biosynthesis could make excellent antibiotic targets. The UIC Center for Pharmaceutical Biotechnology is now working to identify drugs that inhibit these enzymes.

Samant and Mankin's research continued the work begun by Alexander Nayfakh, a professor in the center who died in 2006. The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health.

*Journal reference: Samant S, Lee H, Ghassemi M, Chen J, Cook JL, et al. (2008) Nucleotide Biosynthesis Is Critical for Growth of Bacteria in Human Blood. PLoS Pathog 4(2): e37. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.0040037 http://www.plospathogens.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.ppat.0040037


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Illinois at Chicago. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Illinois at Chicago. "Possible Target To Treat Deadly Bloodstream Infections Discovered." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 March 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080228130246.htm>.
University of Illinois at Chicago. (2008, March 3). Possible Target To Treat Deadly Bloodstream Infections Discovered. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080228130246.htm
University of Illinois at Chicago. "Possible Target To Treat Deadly Bloodstream Infections Discovered." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080228130246.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) The South's tobacco country is surviving, and even thriving in some cases, as demand overseas keeps growers in the fields of one of America's oldest cash crops. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Scientists say a female colossal squid weighing an estimated 350 kilograms (770 lbs) and thought to be only the second intact specimen ever found was carrying eggs when discovered in the Antarctic. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Squid experts in New Zealand thawed and examined an unusual catch on Tuesday: a colossal squid. It was captured in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea in December last year and has been frozen for eight months. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Since the arrival of Ebola in Ivory Coast, Ivorians have been abandoning their pets, particularly monkeys, in the fear that they may transmit the virus. Duration: 00:47 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