Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Potential treatment for deadly E. coli disease: Australian researchers produce 'designer' probiotic

Date:
June 7, 2011
Source:
University of Adelaide
Summary:
A potential life-saving treatment for severe E. coli food poisoning outbreaks -- developed more than a decade ago -- hasn't gone forward into clinical trials because of lack of commercial interest, Australian researchers say. They have produced a "designer" probiotic bacterium which binds and neutralises the toxin produced by E. coli, which causes life-threatening attack on the kidneys and blood vessels.

The probiotic bacterium (blue) with E. coli Shiga toxin (red) bound all over its surface.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Adelaide

A potential life-saving treatment for severe E. coli food poisoning outbreaks -- developed more than a decade ago -- hasn't gone forward into clinical trials because of lack of commercial interest, Australian researchers say.

Related Articles


University of Adelaide researchers produced a "designer" probiotic bacterium which binds and neutralises the toxin produced by E. coli, which causes life-threatening attack on the kidneys and blood vessels.

The team of scientists -- Dr Adrienne Paton, Associate Professor Renato Morona and Professor James Paton -- showed that mice infected with a highly virulent strain of E. coli were completely protected by the probiotic bacterium.

The research was published in the journal Nature Medicine in 2000 and generated ongoing interest from the scientific and medical community -- but the commercial sector hasn't taken up its development for progress into clinical trials in humans.

"Severe E. coli food poisoning outbreaks such as that currently occurring in Europe are becoming increasingly common," said Professor Paton, Director, Research Centre for Infectious Diseases at the University of Adelaide.

"They have the potential to cause widespread disease and many patients develop life-threatening complications including kidney failure.

"The probiotic bacterium could be produced cheaply on a large scale. However, in spite of on-going attention from the scientific and medical community, there has been a lack of interest from the commercial sector in taking this product forward into clinical trials.

"If this had been done, and the probiotic had been proven to be safe and efficacious in humans, it could have been deployed during the current European outbreak. This would undoubtedly have saved lives, as well as millions of dollars in current and future health care costs."

The researchers engineered a harmless bacterium to mimic binding receptors for the potentially fatal Shiga toxin on its surface.

Professor Paton said after diagnosis of E. coli infection there was a window of opportunity for therapeutic intervention before kidneys started to fail. Antibiotics are not used because they can increase the amount of toxin released in the gut.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Adrienne W. Paton, Renato Morona, James C. Paton. A new biological agent for treatment of Shiga toxigenic Escherichia coli infections and dysentery in humans. Nature Medicine, 2000; 6: 265-270 DOI: 10.1038/73111

Cite This Page:

University of Adelaide. "Potential treatment for deadly E. coli disease: Australian researchers produce 'designer' probiotic." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 June 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110607094524.htm>.
University of Adelaide. (2011, June 7). Potential treatment for deadly E. coli disease: Australian researchers produce 'designer' probiotic. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 31, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110607094524.htm
University of Adelaide. "Potential treatment for deadly E. coli disease: Australian researchers produce 'designer' probiotic." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110607094524.htm (accessed March 31, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Gorilla Falls Into Zoo Moat

Gorilla Falls Into Zoo Moat

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Mar. 31, 2015) A gorilla comes to the rescue of her sister who fell into a moat in Israel&apos;s Safari zoo. Rough cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Giant Amphibian Fossils Found in Portugal

Giant Amphibian Fossils Found in Portugal

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Mar. 31, 2015) Scientists discover a new species of giant amphibian that was one of the largest predators on earth about 220 million year ago. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rhino Goes on Deadly Rampage in Nepal

Rhino Goes on Deadly Rampage in Nepal

Reuters - News Video Online (Mar. 31, 2015) A rhino runs rampant down a bustling city street, killing one woman and injuring several others, before security personnel chase it back into the forest. Vanessa Johnston reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bionic Ants Could Be Tomorrow's Factory Workers

Bionic Ants Could Be Tomorrow's Factory Workers

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 30, 2015) Industrious 3D printed bionic ants working together could toil in the factories of the future, says German technology company Festo. The robotic insects cooperate and coordinate their actions and movements to achieve a common aim. Amy Pollock 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