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.

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 September 30, 2014 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 September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

California University Designs Sustainable Winery

California University Designs Sustainable Winery

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 27, 2014) — Amid California's worst drought in decades, scientists at UC Davis design a sustainable winery that includes a water recycling system. Vanessa Johnston reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Argentina Worries Over Decline of Soybean Prices

Argentina Worries Over Decline of Soybean Prices

AFP (Sep. 27, 2014) — The drop in price of soy on the international market is a cause for concern in Argentina, as soybean exports are a major source of income for Latin America's third largest economy. Duration: 01:10 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mama Bear, Cubs Hang out in California Backyard

Mama Bear, Cubs Hang out in California Backyard

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 27, 2014) — A mama bear and her two cubs climb trees, wrestle and take naps in the backyard of a Monrovia, California home. Vanessa Johnston reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Crazy' Climate Forces Colombian Farmers to Adapt

'Crazy' Climate Forces Colombian Farmers to Adapt

AFP (Sep. 26, 2014) — Once upon a time, farming was a blissfully low-tech business on Colombia's northern plains. Duration: 02:05 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