Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Superbug Genome Sequenced: Steno Has Remarkable Capacity For Drug Resistance

Date:
May 9, 2008
Source:
University of Bristol
Summary:
The genome of a newly-emerging superbug, commonly known as Steno, has just been sequenced. The results reveal an organism with a remarkable capacity for drug resistance. The research was carried out by scientists at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute near Cambridge and the University of Bristol.

A Steno bacterium dividing.
Credit: Photo by Matthew Avison

The genome of a newly-emerging superbug, commonly known as Steno, has just been sequenced. The results reveal an organism with a remarkable capacity for drug resistance. The research was carried out by scientists at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute near Cambridge and the University of Bristol.

Understanding the genome of this bacterium will help researchers discover how to deal with this particularly resistant organism. The paper will be published in Genome Biology.

Dr Matthew Avison from the University of Bristol, and senior author on the paper said: "This is the latest in an ever-increasing list of antibiotic-resistant hospital superbugs. The degree of resistance it shows is very worrying. Strains are now emerging that are resistant to all available antibiotics, and no new drugs capable of combating these 'pan-resistant' strains are currently in development."

Pan-resistant Steno infections are at least as hard to treat as MRSA and C.diff infections. But although it is common in the environment, Steno infections are rarer than MRSA and C.diff infections and are exclusively hospital-acquired.

Steno flourishes in moist environments, such as around taps and shower heads, and can be transferred to patients. It is distinct in the way it causes infection and can only get into the body via devices such as catheters or ventilation tubes that are left in place for long periods of time. Long-dwelling catheters are used most often for seriously ill patients and some undergoing chemotherapy.

Steno can stick to the catheter and grow into a 'biofilm'. When the catheter is next flushed, the Steno biofilm can enter the patient's bloodstream. If their immune system is impaired (which is often the case in the seriously ill and those undergoing chemotherapy) the organism can multiply and cause septicaemia. The gravity of this situation has been underlined by the new research, since these patients will be treated with antibiotics against which Steno is largely resistant.

There are approximately 1,000 reports of Stenotrophomonas maltophilia (Steno) blood poisoning in the UK each year, with a mortality rate of about 30%. The organism is also found in the lungs of many adults with cystic fibrosis, and causes ventilator-associated pneumonias, particularly in elderly intensive-care patients.

The key questions that need to be addressed are: How does Steno stick to surfaces like catheters and ventilator tubes" How does it form biofilms and so survive attempts to decontaminate and clean" Why is it resistant to antibiotics"

Dr Lisa Crossman from the Sanger Institute and first author on the paper explained how the research might address these questions: "The genome sequence should help us to combat these properties. For example, if we know which proteins cause it to stick to surfaces, we could try to develop biochemical compounds that interfere with this interaction. If we understand its antibiotic resistance mechanisms, we might be able to design inhibitors that block them."

While Steno infections are still relatively uncommon, they are on the increase. Furthermore, there are two other organisms that cause similar types of infections, but are more common.

Dr Avison added: "Genome sequences for these two also exist, and so now we can look at what they all have in common genetically that might explain why they are so resistant to antibioitics."


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

University of Bristol. "Superbug Genome Sequenced: Steno Has Remarkable Capacity For Drug Resistance." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 May 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080507083928.htm>.
University of Bristol. (2008, May 9). Superbug Genome Sequenced: Steno Has Remarkable Capacity For Drug Resistance. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080507083928.htm
University of Bristol. "Superbug Genome Sequenced: Steno Has Remarkable Capacity For Drug Resistance." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080507083928.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How to Make Single Serving Smoothies: Howdini Hacks

How to Make Single Serving Smoothies: Howdini Hacks

Howdini (July 24, 2014) Smoothies are a great way to get in lots of healthy ingredients, plus they taste great! Howdini has a trick for making the perfect single-size smoothie that will save you time on cleanup too! All you need is a blender and a mason jar. Video provided by Howdini
Powered by NewsLook.com
Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Reuters - US Online Video (July 24, 2014) An 8-year-old boy is bitten in the leg by a shark while vacationing at a Florida beach. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 24, 2014) The eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, mainly known for conflict and instability, is an unlikely place for the production of fine cheese. But a farm in the village of Masisi, in North Kivu is slowly transforming perceptions of the area. Known simply as Goma cheese, the Congolese version of Dutch gouda has gained popularity through out the region. Ciara Sutton reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tyrannosaur Pack-Hunting Theory Aided By New Footprints

Tyrannosaur Pack-Hunting Theory Aided By New Footprints

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A new study claims a set of prehistoric T-Rex footprints supports the theory that the giant predators hunted in packs instead of alone. 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