Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New discovery in fight against deadly meningococcal disease: Understanding the pathway of how the bacterium colonizes people

Date:
May 23, 2013
Source:
Griffith University
Summary:
Neisseria meningitidis is an important human pathogen that can cause rapidly progressing, life threatening meningitis and meningococcal sepsis in humans, according to authors of a new study. People can be carriers of the bug and not get any symptoms, while some people progress to invasive disease. To understand why, we need to know the detail of how the bacterium colonises the airway.

"Neisseria meningitidis is an important human pathogen that can cause rapidly progressing, life threatening meningitis and meningococcal sepsis in humans," Professor Jennings said.

Related Articles


"Until now we have not known how it attaches to the human host. It has been a long-standing mystery how it attaches to the airway to colonise."

People can be carriers of the bug and not get any symptoms, while some people progress to invasive disease. To understand why, we need to know the detail of how the bacterium colonises the airway. Now that the pathway has been identified we can study this process to understand how invasive disease occurs. This is especially important considering the rapidly progressing and serious outcomes of meningococcal disease.

"If you understand how the bug first attaches and how it first signals its attachment then we may identify new risk factors or treatment procedures," Professor Jennings said.

The findings were published Friday in the highly regard PLOS Pathogens journal as featured research "Dual Pili Post-translational Modifications Synergize to Mediate Meningococcal Adherence to Platelet Activating Factor Receptor on Human Airway Cells."

The paper states: There is no fully protective vaccine against this pathogen in current use and the key processes that dictate the transition from harmless carriage of the bacterium in the airway (the case for the vast majority of colonised hosts) to invasive disease are largely undefined. A key missing link in this organism's interaction with the human host is the identity of the receptor that is the first point of contact for the organism within the airway.

Professor Jennings said the receptor is used by a range of airway pathogens and the bacterium mimics a human structure to attach to this receptor.

"It's not actually protein that attaches to the receptor but decorations on the protein that are known as post-translational modifications. One of these is a sugar structure, which of course is of great interest to our work here at Glycomics," he said.

The Institute of Glycomics is a world leader in the study of glycans and carbohydrates (sugars) and how they behave in terms of disease prevention and cure.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Freda E. C. Jen, Matthew J. Warren, Benjamin L. Schulz, Peter M. Power, W. Edward Swords, Jeffery N. Weiser, Michael A. Apicella, Jennifer L. Edwards, Michael P. Jennings. Dual Pili Post-translational Modifications Synergize to Mediate Meningococcal Adherence to Platelet Activating Factor Receptor on Human Airway Cells. PLoS Pathogens, 2013; 9 (5): e1003377 DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1003377

Cite This Page:

Griffith University. "New discovery in fight against deadly meningococcal disease: Understanding the pathway of how the bacterium colonizes people." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130523101843.htm>.
Griffith University. (2013, May 23). New discovery in fight against deadly meningococcal disease: Understanding the pathway of how the bacterium colonizes people. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130523101843.htm
Griffith University. "New discovery in fight against deadly meningococcal disease: Understanding the pathway of how the bacterium colonizes people." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130523101843.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus. He's quarantined in a hospital. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) Fears of Ebola are keeping doctors and patients alike away from hospitals in the West African nation of Guinea. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
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