All news from Pathology & Microbiology

Development of Effective Antibiotics by Understanding Metal-Free Enzymes Used by Bacteria

Some bacterial pathogens, including those that cause strep throat and pneumonia, are able to create the components necessary to replicate their DNA without the usually required metal ions. This process may allow infectious bacteria to replicate even when the host's immune system sequesters iron and manganese ions in an attempt to slow pathogen replication.

A new study, which appears in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, describes a novel subclass of metal-free ribonucleotide reductase enzymes used by these bacteria, an understanding of which could drive the development of new, more effective antibiotics.

DNA Vaccine Strategy Against Multiple H3N2 Viruses, Findings

Researchers developed a novel DNA influenza vaccine based on four micro-consensus antigenic regions selected to represent the diversity of seasonal H3N2 viruses across decades. The DNA vaccine protected mice against a lethal challenge with more than one influenza-A H3N2 virus.

It also protected them from severe H3N2-related illness despite the lack of an exact sequence match between the vaccine immunogen and H3 immunogen. The findings are reported in a new Special Issue on DNA Vaccines in Human Gene Therapy, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers.

Clinical Trials of Functional Engineered Oesophagus In-Process

The world's first functional oesophagus engineered from stem cells has been grown and successfully transplanted into mice, as part of a pioneering new study led by UCL. It was hoped this research, carried out by UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health (ICH), in collaboration with Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) and the Francis Crick Institute, could pave the way for clinical trials of lab-grown food pipes for children with congenital and acquired gut conditions.

Severity of Asthma Symptoms Linked to Excessive Airway Nerves, Study

A new study implicates the remodeling of nerves in the airways as a key contributor to heightened sensitivity and airway constriction in patients with asthma. The results provide new insight into a little-understood factor in the development of asthma, a condition that affects about 235 million people worldwide. The study is the first to demonstrate that inflammatory cells can alter nerve structure in the lungs to cause disease.