Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Mounting A Multi-layered Attack On Fungal Infections

Date:
September 8, 2009
Source:
Society for General Microbiology
Summary:
Although not as well known as bacterial infections, such as MRSA and E. coli, fungal infections such as that caused by the yeast Candida albicans can be more serious and lead to a higher death rate. Using mutant forms of the C. albicans yeast which lacked different parts of the yeast cell wall, researchers have uncovered a three-pronged mechanism by which the body's immune defenses attack the invading fungus.

Unravelling a microbe's multilayer defence mechanisms could lead to effective new treatments for potentially lethal fungal infections in cancer patients and others whose natural immunity is weakened.

Although not as well known as bacterial infections, such as MRSA and E.coli, fungal infections such as that caused by the yeast Candida albicans can be more serious and lead to a higher death rate. Using mutant forms of the C. albicans yeast which lacked different parts of the yeast cell wall, Professor Neil Gow and his colleagues have uncovered a three-pronged mechanism by which the body's immune defences attack the invading fungus.

Presenting the work at the Society for General Microbiology's meeting at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, Professor Gow explained that the yeast's cell wall consists of a skeleton-like structure made up of complex sugars called chitins and glucans, covered by an outer layer of proteins which are highly decorated with sugars. The white blood cells that form part of the human immune system have receptors on their surfaces which recognise specific parts of the yeast cell wall, enabling them to fasten on to the invading yeast cells, kill them and then break them down. However other components in the yeast cell wall were found that can damp down this immune response.

In addition, the immune system needs to attack the glucans in the yeast inner cell wall. In the early stages of infection when the white blood cells start to digest the outer cell wall of the yeast, the glucans become more exposed; the immune system is then able to mount a chemical attack on these molecules.

"We need to find out exactly what the body's immune systems detect and what receptors the defence cells have that recognise the yeast's cell wall components. However, fungi are clever enough to develop evasion strategies – so we need to figure what these are too. If we can do this we may be able to stimulate the immune system to work more effectively in killing disease-causing fungi," said Professor Gow.

"In the longer term we may be able to treat patients with immunotherapy – with agents that stimulate their immunity - as well as with anti-microbial drugs. In addition our work may also lead to new ways to detect fungal infections earlier. Too often the fungus has taken a hold and established itself so well that treatment becomes even more difficult".


Story Source:

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. "Mounting A Multi-layered Attack On Fungal Infections." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 September 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090907214308.htm>.
Society for General Microbiology. (2009, September 8). Mounting A Multi-layered Attack On Fungal Infections. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090907214308.htm
Society for General Microbiology. "Mounting A Multi-layered Attack On Fungal Infections." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090907214308.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, cut full-year revenue forecasts because generics could cut into sales of its anti-arthritis drug, Celebrex. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
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