Mechanism that prevents lethal bacteria from causing invasive disease is revealed.

The mechanism which prevents lethal bacteria, streptococcus pneumoniae, from causing invasive disease is revealed. An important development in understanding how the bacterium that causes pneumonia, meningitis and septicaemia remains harmlessly in the nose and throat has been discovered at the University of Liverpool.

Streptococcus pneumoniae is a ‘commensal’, which can live harmlessly in the nasopharynx as part of the body’s natural bacterial flora. However, in the very young and old it can invade the rest of the body, leading to serious diseases such as pneumonia, sepsis and meningitis, which claim up to a million lives every year worldwide. However, the conditions that drive this bacterium from harmless commensal to major pathogen are not understood.

Scientists at the University have now uncovered the mechanisms by which this occurs and how it is regulated by the host immune system. They found that a specialised group of white blood cells called T regulatory cells are activated by the pneumococcus and move to dampen down a damaging pro-inflammatory response from the host immune system. When white blood cells attack bacteria they cause inflammation and, if this inflammation is uncontrolled it can become excessive and damage host tissues, allowing the bacteria to spread into the rest of the respiratory system and other organs in the body.

The team state that these bacteria are quite happy to live in the nose and it’s not in their interests to spread and kill their host. This is why they activate T regulatory cells, to keep the immune system in check and ensure their own survival. The findings suggest induction of T regulatory cell responses in the upper airways reduces the risk of inflammatory damage that could lead to bacterial invasion and the development of disease. Understanding this process can now lead us to investigate how the bacteria go from this state to causing lethal infections.

Vaccines are an essential part of the medical community’s fight against this disease and have been highly successful. However, they do not protect against all strains of pneumococci. Therefore, understanding the key immunological interactions with the pneumococcus, in the very first site they enter and colonise the human body is crucial to future development of better vaccines.

In this study the group have revealed how there is a delicate balance between the ability of the pneumococcus to colonise the host nasopharynx and the critical need of the immune system to prevent damaging inflammation in this key site. The team hope that this will lead to developing novel therapies based on modulating the host immune system to prevent subsequent invasive disease.

Source: Infection Control Today.

Bacteria, Streptococcus pneumoniae, SEM

16 thoughts on “Mechanism that prevents lethal bacteria from causing invasive disease is revealed.

  1. I have to thank you for the efforts you’ve put in writing this blog.
    I really hope to check out the same high-grade blog posts by you in the future as well.
    In truth, your creative writing abilities has inspired me
    to get my very own blog now 😉

  2. I think the admin of this web page is actually working hard in favor of his website, as
    here every data is quality based stuff.

  3. I wаnt to to thank yоu for thіs wonderful read!!
    Ӏ absolutely loved еvery little bit ߋf іt. Ӏ’ve got you book marked
    tօ look at new stuff yоu post…

  4. I’ve been browsing oline more than 4 hours today, yet I never found any interesting aticle
    like yours. It’s pretty worth enough forr me.
    In my view, if all site owners and bloggers made good content as you
    did, the internet will be much more useful than ever before.

  5. I read this post completely about the resemblance of newest
    and earlier technologies, it’s amazing article.

  6. It’s awesome tto go to see this site and reading the views of all colleagues abolut thios piece of writing, while I am also eager off getting

  7. I always spent my half an hour to read this weblog’s content
    everyday along with a mug of coffee.

  8. If some one wants to be updated with hottest technologies therefore he must
    be pay a visit this site and be up to date everyday.

  9. Hey there! I’ve been reading your website for
    a long time now and finally got the courage
    to go ahead and give you a shout out from New Caney Tx!

    Just wanted to tell you keep up the excellent work!

  10. Hi there! This is kind oof off topic buut I need
    somee guidance from an established blog. Is it tough
    too set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal
    but I cann figure things out pretty fast. I’m thinking about creatingg my own but I’m
    not sure where to begin. Do you have any tips or suggestions?


  11. whoah this blog is greaat i really like
    reading your articles. Stay up the great work! You recognize,
    many individuals are hunting round for this
    information, you could aid them greatly.

  12. Fantastic subject matter, appreciate it for the selective information.

  13. What’s up, all the time i used to check webpage posts here early in the dawn, as i like
    to learn more and more.

  14. Having read this I believed it was extremely enlightening.

    I appreciate you taking the time and energy to put this article together.

    I once again find myself spending a lot of time both reading and leaving comments.
    But so what, it was still worth it!

  15. Simply want to say your article is as astonishing.
    The clarity in your post is simply great and i can assume you’re an expert
    on this subject. Well with your permission let me to grab your feed to
    keep up to date with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and
    please continue the rewarding work.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.