Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Hospital superbug debugged

Date:
October 14, 2011
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
Scientists have uncovered how a common hospital bacterium becomes a deadly superbug that kills increasing numbers of hospital patients worldwide and accounts for an estimated $3.2 billion each year in health-care costs in the US alone.

An international team of scientists led by Monash University researchers has uncovered how a common hospital bacterium becomes a deadly superbug that kills increasing numbers of hospital patients worldwide and accounts for an estimated $3.2 billion each year in health care costs in the US alone. Their findings appear October 13th in the Open Access journal PLoS Pathogens.

Team leader Dr Dena Lyras and lead author Dr Glen Carter, from the Monash University School of Biomedical Sciences, have linked a naturally occurring mutation in the microorganism Clostridium difficile to severe and debilitating diarrhea in hospital patients undergoing antibiotic therapy. These antibiotics destroy the 'good' bacteria in the gut, which allows this 'bad' bacterium to colonise the colon, where it causes bowel infections that are difficult to treat.

"This mutation effectively wipes out an inbuilt disease regulator, called anti-sigma factor TcdC, producing hypervirulent strains of C. difficile that are resistant to antibiotics and which have been found to circulate in Canada, the US, UK, Europe and Australia," Dr Lyras says.

The results suggest that bacterial strains carrying this mutation have the potential to produce more of the harmful toxins that cause disease in susceptible individuals -- commonly patients aged 65 years or over.

Dr. Carter adds, "As we now have a better understanding of these strains, we can design new strategies to prevent, control and treat these infections."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Glen P. Carter, Gillian R. Douce, Revathi Govind, Pauline M. Howarth, Kate E. Mackin, Janice Spencer, Anthony M. Buckley, Ana Antunes, Despina Kotsanas, Grant A. Jenkin, Bruno Dupuy, Julian I. Rood, Dena Lyras. The Anti-Sigma Factor TcdC Modulates Hypervirulence in an Epidemic BI/NAP1/027 Clinical Isolate of Clostridium difficile. PLoS Pathogens, 2011; 7 (10): e1002317 DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1002317

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Hospital superbug debugged." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 October 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111013184807.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2011, October 14). Hospital superbug debugged. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111013184807.htm
Public Library of Science. "Hospital superbug debugged." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111013184807.htm (accessed April 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, April 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) Nine-month-old Wyatt Scott was born with a rare disorder called congenital trismus, which prevents him from opening his mouth. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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