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 September 30, 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 September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) — Aimed at reducing sexual assaults on college campuses, California has adopted a new law changing the standard of consent for sexual activity. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists May Have Found An Early Sign Of Pancreatic Cancer

Scientists May Have Found An Early Sign Of Pancreatic Cancer

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) — Researchers looked at 1,500 blood samples and determined people who developed pancreatic cancer had more branched chain amino acids. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Colo. Doctors See Cluster of Enterovirus Cases

Colo. Doctors See Cluster of Enterovirus Cases

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) — Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Colorado say they have treated over 4,000 children with serious respiratory illnesses since August. Nine of the patients have shown distinct neurological symptoms, including limb weakness. (Sept. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dr.'s Unsure of Cause of Fast-Spreading Virus

Dr.'s Unsure of Cause of Fast-Spreading Virus

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) — Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Colorado say they have treated over 4,000 children with serious respiratory illnesses since August. Nine of the patients have shown distinct neurological symptoms, including limb weakness. (Sept. 29) 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