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Bacteria-infecting viruses bind mucosal surface and protect from disease

Date:
November 22, 2019
Source:
University of Jyväskylä - Jyväskylän yliopisto
Summary:
Bacteriophages, viruses that infect bacteria, have been shown to preferentially bind to mucosal surfaces. This has been suggested to provide an extra level of immunity against bacterial infections. Researchers tested this idea using fish, phages (viruses) and a fish-infecting bacteria. Phages were confirmed to bind to the mucosal surface, staying there for days and give protection from subsequent bacterial infection.
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Mucosal surfaces protect organisms from external stressors and disease. Bacteriophages, viruses that infect bacteria, have been shown to preferentially bind to mucosal surfaces. This has been suggested to provide an extra level of immunity against bacterial infections. Researchers at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland tested this idea using fish, phages (viruses) and a fish-infecting bacteria. Phages were confirmed to bind to the mucosal surface, staying there for days and give protection from subsequent bacterial infection. Research was published in mBio in November 2019.

The mucosal surfaces are important for protection of tissues and homeostasis, but often targeted by disease-causing bacteria. Phages have been suggested to specifically bind to host mucosal surfaces and prevent colonization by pathogenic bacteria. In this symbiotic model phage populations are enriched in the mucus, a substrate in which encounters with their bacterial hosts are more probable, while the animal benefits from protection against invading bacteria.

Researchers at the University of Jyväskylä tested this idea using rainbow trout, phages (viruses) and a fish-infecting bacterium (Flavobacterium columnare). Phages were found to bind to fish mucosa, and maintain there for several days. Phages bound in mucus also protected the fish from diseases, although the pathogenic bacteria had a strong chemotaxis towards mucus, and exposure to mucosal molecules made them more virulent.

However, the mucosal environment made the bacteria more susceptible for phage infections, revealing a new aspect of the tripartite interactions between mucosal surfaces, bacteria and phages.

In conclusion, the mucosal environment influence both bacteria and phages. These interactions are important for understanding disease ecology and has significant impact in preventive phage therapy approaches.


Story Source:

Materials provided by University of Jyväskylä - Jyväskylän yliopisto. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Gabriel M. F. Almeida, Elina Laanto, Roghaieh Ashrafi, Lotta-Riina Sundberg. Bacteriophage Adherence to Mucus Mediates Preventive Protection against Pathogenic Bacteria. mBio, 2019; 10 (6) DOI: 10.1128/mBio.01984-19

Cite This Page:

University of Jyväskylä - Jyväskylän yliopisto. "Bacteria-infecting viruses bind mucosal surface and protect from disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 November 2019. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/11/191122155125.htm>.
University of Jyväskylä - Jyväskylän yliopisto. (2019, November 22). Bacteria-infecting viruses bind mucosal surface and protect from disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2024 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/11/191122155125.htm
University of Jyväskylä - Jyväskylän yliopisto. "Bacteria-infecting viruses bind mucosal surface and protect from disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/11/191122155125.htm (accessed April 23, 2024).

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