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Taking Sharper Aim At Stomach Ulcer Bacteria

Date:
September 30, 2009
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Scientists are reporting discovery of a much sought after crack in the armor of a common microbe that infects the stomachs of one-sixth of the world's population, causing stomach ulcers and other diseases. They identified a group of substances that block a key chemical pathway that the bacteria need for survival.

Electron micrograph of H. pylori.
Credit: Yutaka Tsutsumi, M.D. Professor Department of Pathology Fujita Health University School of Medicine / Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Scientists are reporting discovery of a much sought after crack in the armor of a common microbe that infects the stomachs of one-sixth of the world's population, causing stomach ulcers and other diseases. They identified a group of substances that block a key chemical pathway that the bacteria need for survival.

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Their study, which could lead to new, more effective antibiotics to fight these hard-to-treat microbes, is scheduled for the October 16 issue of ACS Chemical Biology, a monthly journal.

Javier Sancho and colleagues note in the new study that Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacteria infect the stomach lining and can cause gastritis and ulcers. Treatment with broad-spectrum antibiotics can cure H. pylori infections. However, an estimated one billion people remain infected worldwide because of the cost of existing antibiotics and the emergence of antibiotic resistant strains of the bacteria, the researchers say.

The scientists knew from past research that blocking flavodoxin, a key protein that H. pylori needs for survival, could be the key to developing narrow-spectrum antibiotics that specifically target H. pylori. Sancho's team screened 10,000 chemicals for their ability to block flavodoxin and identified four that showed promise. They then showed that three of the four substances killed H. pylori in cell cultures and did not have any apparent toxic effects in lab animals. "These new inhibitors constitute promising candidates to develop new specific antibiotics against H. pylori," the study states.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Cremades et al. Discovery of Specific Flavodoxin Inhibitors as Potential Therapeutic Agents against Helicobacter pylori Infection. ACS Chemical Biology, 2009; 090922083712023 DOI: 10.1021/cb900166q

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Taking Sharper Aim At Stomach Ulcer Bacteria." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 September 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090930112142.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2009, September 30). Taking Sharper Aim At Stomach Ulcer Bacteria. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090930112142.htm
American Chemical Society. "Taking Sharper Aim At Stomach Ulcer Bacteria." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090930112142.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

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