Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Typhoid fever: A race against time

Date:
January 16, 2014
Source:
Universität Basel
Summary:
The life-threatening disease typhoid fever results from the ongoing battle between the bacterial pathogen Salmonella and the immune cells of the body. A research group has now uncovered how the typhoid pathogen repeatedly manages to evade the host’s immune system.

Salmonella-infected cells (macrophages in blue, monocytes in turquoise). Dead Salmonella (only yellow), surviving Salmonella (yellow and red).
Credit: Illustration: University of Basel

The life-threatening disease typhoid fever results from the ongoing battle between the bacterial pathogen Salmonella and the immune cells of the body. Prof. Dirk Bumann's research group at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel has now uncovered how the typhoid pathogen repeatedly manages to evade the host's immune system. Their findings are published in the scientific journal Cell Host & Microbe.

Typhoid fever is a bacterial infection caused by the pathogen Salmonella. The infected host's immune system detects Salmonella and activates immune cells such as neutrophils and monocytes. These cells infiltrate the infected tissue and enclose the infection to form an abscess. Although most Salmonella bacteria are readily killed by this immune reaction, Dirk Bumann's group has demonstrated that some escape from the abscess and thus ensure their survival.

Salmonella uses immune cells

Once outside the abscess, the Salmonella bacteria are attacked by other immune cells, the so-called macrophages that produce a less effective immune response. "Salmonella have developed a range of defense strategies to resist macrophage attacks. Many Salmonella are thus able to survive and even to replicate in macrophages," explains Neil Burton, one of the two first authors. With time, abscesses form around the new infection foci but again some Salmonella bacteria can manage to escape. "This drives the whole infection process further and makes typhoid fever particularly insidious," says Nura Schürmann, also a first author of the publication.

A battle on many fronts

The whole disease process is a race between Salmonella and the immune system of the infected organism, in which the battle is fought on many fronts. In this process many Salmonella bacteria are killed and others survive to spread the infection. It is the net balance of the outcomes of these individual Salmonella and immune cell encounters which in the end determines the course of the illness.

Typhoid fever is a life-threatening infection in countries with poor hygiene. Each year, more than 20 million people are infected with this disease. The illness is transmitted by ingesting food or water contaminated with this bacterium. Once inside the intestine, Salmonella crosses the gut mucosa and spreads to other organs such as the spleen and liver. Growing antibiotic resistance makes this illness increasingly difficult to cure.

Understanding what factors enable Salmonella to win many encounters with host cells might provide new strategies in the treatment of typhoid fever. Similar heterogeneous encounters likely determine the fights between the host and many other pathogens. Findings of this study may thus be relevant for a wide range of infectious diseases.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Neil A. Burton, Nura Schürmann, Olivier Casse, Anne K. Steeb, Beatrice Claudi, Janine Zankl, Alexander Schmidt, Dirk Bumann. Disparate Impact of Oxidative Host Defenses Determines the Fate of Salmonella during Systemic Infection in Mice. Cell Host & Microbe, 2014; 15 (1): 72 DOI: 10.1016/j.chom.2013.12.006

Cite This Page:

Universität Basel. "Typhoid fever: A race against time." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 January 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140116085053.htm>.
Universität Basel. (2014, January 16). Typhoid fever: A race against time. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140116085053.htm
Universität Basel. "Typhoid fever: A race against time." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140116085053.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) — A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Newsy (July 24, 2014) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is blaming doctors for the low number of children being vaccinated for HPV. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) — The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) — Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. 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