Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fly gut bacteria could control sleeping sickness

Date:
May 11, 2010
Source:
Society for General Microbiology
Summary:
A new bacterial species, found in the gut of the fly that transmits African sleeping sickness, could be engineered to kill the parasite that causes the disease. The study could lead to new approaches to control this fatal infection that is becoming resistant to drug therapy.

A new bacterial species, found in the gut of the fly that transmits African sleeping sickness, could be engineered to kill the parasite that causes the disease. The study, published in the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology, could lead to new approaches to control this fatal infection that is becoming resistant to drug therapy.

Related Articles


Scientists from IRD, the French Research Institute for Development in Montpellier, France isolated the novel bacterium from the midgut of the tsete fly that also harbours the protozoan Trypanosoma brucei gambiense (Tbg), responsible for Human African Trypanosomiasis, known as sleeping sickness. The new bacterium was named Serratia glossinae after genomic analysis showed it was closely genetically linked to other bacteria in the Serratia genus. Interestingly one of the species in this genus is able to kill another trypanosome that causes Chagas' disease in South America. This has prompted the group to hypothesise that the Serratia group of bacteria has the potential to be exploited to treat trypanosomiasis.

More than 60 million people are exposed to African sleeping sickness in Sub-Saharan Africa. The causative agent, Tbg, can be transmitted through the bites of infected flies that feed on human blood. The parasite multiplies in the blood of infected individuals and may eventually invade the brain. Infections by Tbg are often asymptomatic for months or years and can remain undetected until patients are in advanced stages of the disease. Without treatment, these infections are fatal.

The research could contribute to new treatment strategies that are desperately needed to fight African sleeping sickness. Current drugs are expensive and are not always effective due to increasing resistance of Tbg. "Our work could lead to an alternative vector-based approach that exploits selected strains of bacteria naturally present in the fly's gut to either kill the parasite, or prevent it from establishing itself in the gut," explained Dr Anne Geiger who led the study.

Containing the spread of T. brucei could also have a huge impact on the African economy. "Cattle can also be affected by a form of trypanosomiasis, called 'nagana', that causes an estimated loss as high as US $4.5 billion dollars each year to African agriculture," explained Dr Geiger. "If we managed to successfully control parasite transmission by the tsetse fly, the medical, social and economic effect would be considerable," she said.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Anne Geiger, Marie-Laure Fardeau, Enevold Falsen, Bernard Ollivier and Gιrard Cuny. Characterization of Serratia glossinae sp. nov., isolated from the midgut of the tsetse fly, Glossina palpalis gambiensis. International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology, 2009; DOI: 10.1099/ijs.0.013441-0

Cite This Page:

Society for General Microbiology. "Fly gut bacteria could control sleeping sickness." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 May 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100510190840.htm>.
Society for General Microbiology. (2010, May 11). Fly gut bacteria could control sleeping sickness. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 21, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100510190840.htm
Society for General Microbiology. "Fly gut bacteria could control sleeping sickness." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100510190840.htm (accessed April 21, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Going Ape: Sierra Leone Chimpanzees Hail Ebola Retreat

Going Ape: Sierra Leone Chimpanzees Hail Ebola Retreat

AFP (Apr. 21, 2015) — As money runs out at Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary in Sierra Leone, around 85 chimps are facing homelessness. The centre closed when the Ebola epidemic was ravaging the country but now that closure is beginning to look permanent. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blue Bell Recalls All Products

Blue Bell Recalls All Products

AP (Apr. 21, 2015) — Blue Bell Creameries voluntary recalled for all of its products after two samples of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream tested positive for listeria, a potentially deadly bacteria. Blue Bell&apos;s President and CEO issued a video statement. (April 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Deepwater And Dolphins: The Oil Spill's Impact 5 Years On

Deepwater And Dolphins: The Oil Spill's Impact 5 Years On

Newsy (Apr. 20, 2015) — Five years on, the possible environmental impact of the Deepwater Horizon spill includes a sustained die-off of bottlenose dolphins, among others. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Five Years Later, the BP Oil Spill Is Still Taking Its Toll

Five Years Later, the BP Oil Spill Is Still Taking Its Toll

AFP (Apr. 20, 2015) — On April 20, 2010, an explosion and fire on the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico started the biggest oil spill in US history. BP recently reported the Gulf is recovering well, but scientists paint a different picture. Duration: 02:36 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:

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