Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Flu jab for bacteria

Date:
April 6, 2010
Source:
Society for General Microbiology
Summary:
Viruses can wreak havoc on bacteria as well as humans and, just like us, bacteria have their own defense system in place. Uncovering the workings of the bacterial "immune system" could be used to keep industrial microbes at peak performance.

The key experiment shows the successful protection of a phage-sensitive bacterial strain against a virus. Top-right - bacterial lawn growing in absence of virus; Top-left -holes in the lawn (plaques) caused by growth perturbation due to phage; Bottom - when equipped with the right components of the CRISPR/Cas defense system, the bacteria became resistant to virus infection.
Credit: John van der Oost

Viruses can wreak havoc on bacteria as well as humans and, just like us, bacteria have their own defence system in place, explains Professor John van der Oost, at the Society for General Microbiology's spring meeting. Uncovering the workings of the bacterial "immune system" could be used to keep industrial microbes at peak performance.

Related Articles


Professor van der Oost and his team at Wageningen University in the Netherlands have spent the last three years working out the molecular details of the immune system called CRISPR that is present in bacteria. The recently discovered CRISPR defence system differs from the immune system in higher organisms in that acquired immunity can be passed down future generations. This means bacterial offspring are protected from viral attack even before they are exposed to the invading virus.

Specific bacterial proteins recognise infectious viruses, called bacteriophages, by detecting foreign DNA. These proteins take the viral DNA and insert it into the bacterial genome at very specific locations. "Storing the information in this way gives the bacteria a lasting 'memory' of the harmful virus that subsequently confers immunity- much like our own immune systems," said Professor van der Oost. Upon future attack by the same virus, the DNA sequence of the invader is quickly recognised and destroyed by the bacteria.

Understanding the exact mechanisms of the CRISPR defence system could have big economic rewards for industry. "We can exploit this system and expose bacteria to artificial or modified bacteriophages whose DNA could be stored. This would be exactly like giving them a flu jab and protect them against a real attack in the future. For industrially-important bacteria this could be a great cost-saving method to reduce viral infections that may compromise yields of bacterial products. It's a classic example of vaccinating the workforce to increase its productivity."


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. "Flu jab for bacteria." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 April 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100331201535.htm>.
Society for General Microbiology. (2010, April 6). Flu jab for bacteria. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100331201535.htm
Society for General Microbiology. "Flu jab for bacteria." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100331201535.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) Millions of monarch butterflies begin to descend onto Mexico as part of their annual migration south. Rough Cut (no reporter narration) Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Newsy (Dec. 19, 2014) A new study suggests a certain type of bird was able to sense a tornado outbreak that moved through the U.S. a day before it hit. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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