Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

'Hormone therapy' for food poisoning bacteria

Date:
March 29, 2010
Source:
Society for General Microbiology
Summary:
Pathogenic bacteria in the gut recognize their surroundings by detecting hormone signals from the host, which can prompt them to express lethal toxins. Intercepting these hormonal messages could be a better way to treat serious food-borne infections where antibiotics do more harm than good.

Pathogenic bacteria in the gut recognise their surroundings by detecting hormone signals from the host, which can prompt them to express lethal toxins. Intercepting these hormonal messages could be a better way to treat serious food-borne infections where antibiotics do more harm than good, explains Vanessa Sperandio speaking at the Society for General Microbiology's spring meeting in Edinburgh.

Gut bacteria, including harmful strains of Escherichia coli and Salmonella that cause food poisoning, detect and respond to adrenaline released by the host, through a sensor called QseC embedded in the bacterial surface. When adrenaline binds to QseC, it is like toppling the first tile of a complex domino arrangement -- it triggers a chain of events that can ultimately result in the production of toxins.

Dr Sperandio's group at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center have identified a molecule, called LED209, which stops adrenaline binding to QseC. Blocking binding prevents the signalling events inside the bacterium, reducing toxin production and also hindering bacteria from attaching effectively to the epithelial cells that line the gut. When given orally to infected mice, LED209 was found to reduce the number of gut-colonising Salmonella.

The discovery could represent the first of a novel class of antimicrobial agents. "QseC is a very attractive drug target because it is present in at least 25 important animal and plant pathogens but not in mammals. This means that drugs targeting this sensor are less likely to be toxic and have the potential to be broad-spectrum (effective against several types of infection)."

Alternative treatments are needed for pathogenic E. coli and Salmonella infections, as antibiotic treatment can make the illness worse, explained Dr Sperandio. "Conventional antibiotics can trigger the SOS response in bacteria that actually enhances virulence. LED209, unlike antibiotics, does not kill or hinder E. coli growth and consequently does not promote expression of shiga toxin -- which is the bacterium's defence mechanism. Instead, LED209 decreases expression of genes that encode this toxin," she said. "What is more, because this signalling system does not directly influence bacterial growth, inhibiting it may not exert a strong selective pressure for the development of resistance."


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. "'Hormone therapy' for food poisoning bacteria." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 March 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100329075921.htm>.
Society for General Microbiology. (2010, March 29). 'Hormone therapy' for food poisoning bacteria. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100329075921.htm
Society for General Microbiology. "'Hormone therapy' for food poisoning bacteria." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100329075921.htm (accessed September 19, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, September 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

AP (Sep. 18, 2014) Grand the elephant has successfully undergone surgery to remove a portion of infected tusk at Tbilisi Zoo in Georgia. British veterinary surgeons used an electric drill to extract the infected piece. (Sept. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chimp Violence Study Renews Debate On Why They Kill

Chimp Violence Study Renews Debate On Why They Kill

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) The study weighs in on a debate over whether chimps are naturally violent or become that way due to human interference in the environment. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) The South's tobacco country is surviving, and even thriving in some cases, as demand overseas keeps growers in the fields of one of America's oldest cash crops. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Scientists say a female colossal squid weighing an estimated 350 kilograms (770 lbs) and thought to be only the second intact specimen ever found was carrying eggs when discovered in the Antarctic. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
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