Variation Between Strains May Account for Differences in People’s Vulnerability to Infection
Scientists have long sought to explain why people respond differently to bacterial infections. In the case of TB, for example, less than 10 percent of those infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis develop severe lung disease, while others remain symptom-free.
In some cases, genetic defects have been shown to make the human immune system susceptible to infection. Yet human genetics may not be the whole story, according to research published today in PLOS Pathogens. It suggests that variations among strains within a single bacterial species may also provoke varied immune responsiveness in their human hosts. This variability is mainly contributed by viruses that infect bacteria.
Uri Sela, a clinical fellow in the laboratory of Vincent A. Fischetti, obtained these findings by analyzing blood samples from healthy volunteers whose immune cells had been challenged with different strains of Staphylococcus aureus. In many other studies, however, scientists have drawn conclusions about the immune system's interactions with a bacterium based on experiments with a single strain, which may not be representative of the species as a whole, Sela says.
"Our findings are novel and unexpected," he notes, "and may set the stage for better ways to predict a patient's disease outcome and tailor treatment accordingly."
This article has been republished from materials provided by The Rockefeller University. Note: material may have been edited for length and content. For further information, please contact the cited source.
Strains of bacterial species induce a greatly varied acute adaptive immune response: The contribution of the accessory genome. Uri Sela , Chad W. Euler, Joel Correa da Rosa, Vincent A. Fischetti. PLOS PathogensJanuary 11, 2018https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1006726.
New Portable Malaria Screening Instrument DevelopedNews
A new prototype for a portable instrument capable of early-stage malaria detection has been developed by a team of researchers at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering.READ MORE
Diamonds Could Decrease Cost of Imaging and Spectroscopy DevicesNews
A new approach shows great promise for enhancing the signal from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) using lasers without expensive magnets.
Schizophrenics' Blood Contains RNA From More MicrobesNews
The blood of schizophrenia patients features genetic material from more types of microorganisms than that of people without the debilitating mental illness, research at Oregon State University has found. What’s not known is whether that’s a cause or effect of the severe, chronic condition that strikes about one person in 100.READ MORE