June 21, 2024


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Its favorite “food” bacterium that causes hungry pneumonia has the potential for new antibiotics

The transmembrane region is blue, the energy-driven domain is pink, the membrane lipids are light gray, and the head is light orange. The yellow “blob” represents the location of the gating residue in the pathway. Credits: Hugo MacDermott-Opeskin, Megan O’Mara, Christopher McDevitt

Australian researchers have shown how the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) obtains the essential nutrient manganese from our body. This can lead to better treatments targeting life-threatening antibiotic-resistant pathogens.

Streptococcus pneumoniae is one of the most deadly organisms in the world, killing more than one million people each year and causing death from a major infectious disease in children under the age of five. It is the leading cause of bacterial pneumonia and is also the leading cause of meningitis, sepsis and inner ear infections (Otitis media).

Released today Science Advances After 10 years of in-depth research, researchers at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infectious Immunology (Doherty Institute) and the Bio21 Institute for Molecular Science and Biotechnology (Bio21) have been determined with collaborators from the Australian National University and Kyoto University. ..Unique “gateway” structure used by Streptococcus pneumoniae to steal manganese From the body.

All organisms, including pathogens, need vitamins and minerals to survive. Researchers knew that manganese was important for the survival of Streptococcus pneumoniae, but it was not understood how it deprived the body of manganese.

Megan Maher, associate professor at Bio21 at the University of Melbourne, said he noticed that the bacteria were inhaling nutrients in a regulated manner.

“Ultimately, we found that this was because the unique gateway in the bacterial membrane opened and closed to specifically enter manganese,” said Maher.

“This is a completely new structure not found in such pathogens.”

Professor Christopher McDavid of the University of Melbourne, director of the Doherty Institute, said the results of this study would change what we know about pathogen survival.

“Previously, these gateways were thought to act like Teflon-coated channels, in the sense that everything just flowed,” explained Professor McDevitt.

“We now know that manganese is being selectively drawn in. If this gateway is disrupted, the manganese pathogens will starve and will not be able to cause disease.”

It’s better Alternative therapy Against pneumococcus.

Although pneumococcal vaccines exist, protection against circulating strains is limited and antibiotic resistance rates are rising rapidly.

“It’s a really attractive therapeutic target because it’s located on the surface of the bacterium and our body doesn’t use this type of gateway,” said Professor McDavid.

“With increasing resistance to first-line and last-line antibiotics and the emergence of” super bugs, “it is important to consider new strategies for controlling this deadly organism. ”

Asymptomatic adults may be a reservoir of pneumococcus

For more information:
Structural basis for bacterial manganese imports, Science Advances (2021). DOI: 10.1126 / sciadv.abg3980

Quote: Its favorite “food” bacterium that causes starving pneumonia is a new one obtained on August 6, 2021 from https: //phys.org/news/2021-08-starving-pneumonia-causing-bacteria- Potential for antibiotics (2021, August 6) Favorite-food.html

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Its favorite “food” bacterium that causes hungry pneumonia has the potential for new antibiotics

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