Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cellular Safety Shelters Allow TB Agent To Survive In Infected Individuals

Date:
November 19, 2008
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
"Foamy" macrophage formation may be the key to persistence of infection by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), the causative agent of tuberculosis, explains a new study in PLoS Pathogens. These immunity-related cells are shown to be a safety reservoir where the bacterium can hide for years in infected individuals, before inducing an active disease.

"Foamy" macrophage formation may be the key to persistence of infection by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), the causative agent of tuberculosis, explains a new study. These immunity-related cells are shown to be a safety reservoir where the bacterium can hide for years in infected individuals, before inducing an active disease.

According to the research group led by Frederic Altare, the tubercle bacillus circumvents the host immune response by inducing the transformation of aggressive immune cells into a non-aggressive refuge where it is able to survive and have access to large sources of nutrients.

Mtb is responsible for a dramatic global health problem. The World Health Organization has estimated that this pathogen infects one third of the human population and causes three million deaths annually. Most individuals remain asymptomatic for several years before developing an active disease. In such individuals, it is generally admitted that the bacilli are not cleared but rather persist in a dormant state. One of the main goals of TB research is to understand how and where the bacilli survive within infected hosts.

Using a recently developed in vitro assay mimicking the human host immune response, the researchers observed that Mtb uses some of its cell surface constituents to induce the transformation of macrophages (which are supposed to internalize and kill infecting bacteria), into "foamy" cells. These cells have lost their killing ability and have accumulated large amounts of lipids, the main nutrient for internalized Mtb. They further observed that Mtb remained alive within these cells, and switched into a dormant state.

This observation may direct novel research towards the elucidation of tubercle bacillus survival mechanisms. This study also helps explain the role of a previously uncharacterized cell population participating in the human response to Mtb. "Foamy" macrophages may prove to be a useful tool for the development of new antimicrobial drugs targeted to kill the bug directly within its natural shelter.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Peyron et al. Foamy Macrophages from Tuberculous Patients' Granulomas Constitute a Nutrient-Rich Reservoir for M. tuberculosis Persistence. PLoS Pathogens, 2008; 4 (11): e1000204 DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1000204

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Cellular Safety Shelters Allow TB Agent To Survive In Infected Individuals." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 November 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081114081001.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2008, November 19). Cellular Safety Shelters Allow TB Agent To Survive In Infected Individuals. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081114081001.htm
Public Library of Science. "Cellular Safety Shelters Allow TB Agent To Survive In Infected Individuals." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081114081001.htm (accessed April 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 22, 2014) Big pharma on the move as Novartis boss, Joe Jimenez, tells Reuters about plans to transform his company via an asset exchange with GSK, and Astra Zeneca shares surge on speculation that Pfizer is looking for a takeover. Joanna Partridge reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) A new study finds most crimes committed by people with mental illness are not caused by symptoms of their illness or disorder. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is given hands-on demonstrations Tuesday of some of the newest research from DARPA _ the military's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency program. (April 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) NBC's "Today" conducted an experiment to see if changing the size of plates and utensils affects the amount individuals eat. 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