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 July 25, 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 July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) — A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Newsy (July 24, 2014) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is blaming doctors for the low number of children being vaccinated for HPV. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) — The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) — Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. 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