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.

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 April 21, 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 April 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, April 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Breakfast Foods Are Getting Pricier

Breakfast Foods Are Getting Pricier

AP (Apr. 21, 2014) — Breakfast is now being served with a side of sticker shock. The cost of morning staples like bacon, coffee and orange juice is on the rise because of global supply problems. (April 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) — Nine-month-old Wyatt Scott was born with a rare disorder called congenital trismus, which prevents him from opening his mouth. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) — In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) — A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. 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