Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Legionnaire Microbe's Tricks Discovered

Date:
June 20, 2008
Source:
Yale University
Summary:
Researchers have shed new light how bacteria like the ones that cause Legionnaires' disease and Q-fever raise such havoc in human patients. In order to survive, the gram-negative bacteria use genes that have evolved in tandem with ones in their hosts to essentially disarm immune system cells trying to kill them, the scientists report in the journal Science.

Yale University researchers have shed new light how bacteria like the ones that cause Legionnaires' disease and Q-fever raise such havoc in human patients.

Related Articles


In order to survive, the gram-negative bacteria use genes that have evolved in tandem with ones in their hosts to essentially disarm immune system cells trying to kill them, the scientists report in the journal Science.

"Because of their life style, trying to identify how these organisms cause disease has been really difficult,'' said Craig Roy, professor at the Yale School of Medicine in the section of microbial pathogenesis.

Roy and his group described one innovative way the organisms inflict their damage with impunity.

Some gram-negative pathogens such as Legionella pneumophila, and Coxiella burnetii, the cause of Q fever, actually secrete proteins into eukaryotic cells, or cells with a nucleus. But exactly what those proteins did was not known.

Legionnaires' disease is a dangerous form of pneumonia often contracted by inhaling water droplets containing the organism. Q-fever in humans can cause high fevers, chills and can also develop into pneumonia. Both often go undiagnosed.

Previous genome scans of the gram-negative bacteria that cause these diseases had identified a high prevalence of genes called Anks, for ankyrin repeat homology domains. These genes fascinated scientists because they appear very similar to numerous genes in eukaryotic cells that regulate a multitude of processes. These bacteria have "borrowed'' or co-evolved genes from their hosts to survive in the cell. In fact, some species of these bacteria cannot exist outside of a eukaryotic cell.

Roy's lab showed that Ank proteins are secreted into immune system cells called macrophages, and once inside, turn off mechanisms within the cell designed to destroy the bacteria.

Roy believes that more such survival tricks of gram-negative pathogens will be found but adds, "this study at least gives us a foothold" for further study.

Because these bacteria tend to behave like viruses and actually invade cells, they might be susceptible to a vaccine that targets specific elements of the Ank protein and allow macrophages to complete the job, he said.

Other authors included Xiaoxiao Pan, Anja Lόhrmann, Ayano Satoh, Michelle A. Laskowski-Arce of Yale.

The research was supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Yale University. "Legionnaire Microbe's Tricks Discovered." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 June 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080619142056.htm>.
Yale University. (2008, June 20). Legionnaire Microbe's Tricks Discovered. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080619142056.htm
Yale University. "Legionnaire Microbe's Tricks Discovered." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080619142056.htm (accessed December 17, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) — Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:52 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) — Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) — According to research out of the University of Pennsylvania, waking up for work is the biggest factor that causes Americans to lose sleep. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flu Outbreak Closing Schools in Ohio

Flu Outbreak Closing Schools in Ohio

AP (Dec. 17, 2014) — A wave of flu illnesses has forced some Ohio schools to shut down over the past week. State officials confirmed one pediatric flu-related death, a 15-year-old girl in southern Ohio. (Dec. 17) Video provided by AP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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