Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Roundworm could provide new treatment for sepsis

Date:
March 11, 2011
Source:
University of Liverpool
Summary:
Medical researchers have found that systemic inflammation caused by sepsis can be suppressed by a protein which occurs naturally in a type of roundworm.

Research by the University of Liverpool has found that systemic inflammation caused by sepsis can be suppressed by a protein which occurs naturally in a type of roundworm.

Related Articles


Sepsis is a serious inflammatory condition, caused by the body over-reacting to infection. The body becomes overwhelmed by bacteria, setting off a series of reactions that lead to inflammation and clotting. It affects around 20 million people worldwide each year, and accounts for a large proportion of intensive care unit admissions.

For the past 30 years, sepsis has largely been treated by antibiotics and maintenance of blood flow. Despite these treatments -- often complicated by antibiotic-induced liver injury or the presence of multi drug-resistant bacteria -- mortality rates for those with severe illness who go into multi-organ damage and septic shock, remain as high as 50%. New treatments for septic shock are of high clinical need.

Findings by an international team, led by Professor Alirio Melendez, based at the University's Medical Research Council Centre for Drug Safety Science in the Institute of Translational Medicine, show that inflammation triggered by bacterial endotoxins in immune cells from patients with sepsis is suppressed by a protein called ES-62 which is secreted by a type of roundworm called Acanthocheilonema viteae.

Roundworms can infect the human digestive tract, lymphatic vessels, skin and muscle. They are extremely common -- particularly in parts of the world with poor sanitation -- and it is estimated that nearly a quarter of the world's population are currently infected. Roundworm can live in the human body for decades without adverse effects or triggering the immune system.

Scientists already know that the protein secreted by roundworm is capable of suppressing inflammation and people infected with worms usually benefit from reduced inflammation if they suffer from conditions such as allergies and autoimmune diseases.

Professor Melendez explained: "The protein secreted by the roundworm stimulates a process called autophagy, a process of 'self-eating' that is essential to clear damage to cellular proteins or organelles and promote cell survival and function during stress situations.

"Autophagy reduces inflammation but at the same time permits the clearance of microbial infection. The findings suggest that ES-62 could be used to induce autophagy and reduce the overwhelming inflammation that is responsible for the massive tissue damage seen in sepsis."

He added: "ES-62 has the therapeutic ability to enhance recovery in septic shock by suppressing and limiting catastrophic inflammatory responses while allowing for bacterial clearance to occur. Administration of ES-62, or a synthetic small molecule derivative, alone or in combination with antibiotics could potentially be used treatment of septic shock as well as other inflammatory diseases."

The research is published in Nature Immunology and was carried out in collaboration with colleagues from the Universities of Strathclyde, Glasgow and the National University of Singapore.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Liverpool. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Padmam Puneet, Mairi A McGrath, Hwee Kee Tay, Lamyaa Al-Riyami, Justyna Rzepecka, Shabbir M Moochhala, Shazib Pervaiz, Margaret M Harnett, William Harnett, Alirio J Melendez. The helminth product ES-62 protects against septic shock via Toll-like receptor 4–dependent autophagosomal degradation of the adaptor MyD88. Nature Immunology, 2011; DOI: 10.1038/ni.2004

Cite This Page:

University of Liverpool. "Roundworm could provide new treatment for sepsis." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 March 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110308101325.htm>.
University of Liverpool. (2011, March 11). Roundworm could provide new treatment for sepsis. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110308101325.htm
University of Liverpool. "Roundworm could provide new treatment for sepsis." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110308101325.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Scientists in Amsterdam say couples transfer tens of millions of microbes when they kiss, encouraging healthy exposure to bacteria. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Cambridge scientists have unravelled the genetic code of a rare tapeworm that lived inside a patient's brain for at least four year. Researchers hope it will present new opportunities to diagnose and treat this invasive parasite. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher 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


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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