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No Hiding Place For Infecting Bacteria

Date:
March 20, 2009
Source:
Society for General Microbiology
Summary:
Scientists have discovered a new approach to prevent bacterial infections from taking hold. They used enzymes against products of the body's own defense cells to prevent Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria from building a protective biofilm which enables them to avoid both the body's immune mechanisms and antibiotics.

Scientists in Colorado have discovered a new approach to prevent bacterial infections from taking hold. Writing in the Journal of Medical Microbiology, Dr Quinn Parks and colleagues describe how they used enzymes against products of the body's own defence cells to prevent Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria from building a protective biofilm which enables them to avoid both the body's immune mechanisms and antibiotics.

When the body's defence cells, called neutrophils, attack P. aeruginosa, the cell contents - including a protein called F-actin and the cell's DNA – are released. P. aeruginosa uses these cell proteins as a scaffold to build a protective biofilm making these infections very difficult to treat. P. aeruginosa biofilms cause disease in burns, wounds, contact lens infections and are particularly prevalent in the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients.

"We specifically targeted the F-actin protein with a negatively charged peptide, and the DNA with the enzyme DNase, which both prevented and disrupted the formation of P. aeruginosa biofilms in the presence of human neutrophils." said Dr Parks. "These results suggest a new combined therapeutic strategy for the treatment of P. aeruginosa infections.


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


Cite This Page:

Society for General Microbiology. "No Hiding Place For Infecting Bacteria." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 March 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090315202117.htm>.
Society for General Microbiology. (2009, March 20). No Hiding Place For Infecting Bacteria. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090315202117.htm
Society for General Microbiology. "No Hiding Place For Infecting Bacteria." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090315202117.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

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