Free Newsletter
Register for our Free Newsletters
Advanced Composites
Amorphous Metal Structures
Analysis and Simulation
Asbestos and Substitutes
Associations, Research Organisations and Universities
Automation Equipment
Building Materials
Bulk Handling and Storage
CFCs and Substitutes
View All
Other Carouselweb publications
Carousel Web
Defense File
New Materials
Pro Health Zone
Pro Manufacturing Zone
Pro Security Zone
Web Lec
Pro Engineering Zone

Helping Cystic Fibrosis patients beat bugs

Society For General Microbiology : 10 September, 2003  (Company News)
People with weakened immune systems, including patients with cystic fibrosis could be better protected in future from a highly resilient bacteria, thanks to work by medical scientists from the University of Leeds. The research is presented at the Society for General Microbiology's meeting at UMIST in Manchester.
'British soldiers stationed in South East Asia and North Australia, as well as local people, can be exposed to infection by a dangerous bacterium called Burkholderia pseudomallei which causes pneumonia and septicaemia. This bacterium is resistant to many antibiotics and, as treatment can take nine months with frequent relapses, we urgently need to find new ways of combating it' says Dr Zarina Yousuf from the Department of Oral Biology, University of Leeds.

The scientists have been studying a bacterium from the same family, called Burkholderia cepacia, which infects cystic fibrosis patients, in the hope of finding ways of combating it. The work is urgently needed as cystic fibrosis sufferers can easily contract highly infectious strains of the bacteria that cause epidemics. Once infected a patient must be isolated from their family and fellow sufferers, drastically affecting their quality of life.

'Our research has concentrated on the cell wall which appears to give the bacteria its unusual resistance to antibiotics, especially a fat and sugar component called lipopolysaccharide' says Dr Yousuf. 'We hope to identify and target the key genes responsible for modification of lipopolysaccharide, as well as those responsible for a number of internal cell activities. We hope that treatments which work against this bacterium will also be successful against the related, much more dangerous varieties such as Burkholderia pseudomallei.'

The scientists are also interested in plans to release similar strains of bacteria into the environment where they will be used as biological cleansing or decontamination agents. 'We need to fully understand how these bacteria infect people so that we can make sure that only organisms of no danger to humans are released into the environment,' says Dr Yousuf. 'This could need long term studies as, for instance, Burkholderia pseudomallei can remain hidden in its latent state in infected people for up to 26 years before they become ill'.
Bookmark and Share
Home I Editor's Blog I News by Zone I News by Date I News by Category I Special Reports I Directory I Events I Advertise I Submit Your News I About Us I Guides
   © 2012
Netgains Logo