Infection: Hospital germs attack the immune system


The Vienna biochemistry team has discovered a new mechanism by which a virulent hospital bacterium called Pseudomonas aeruginosa helps determine the immune response of its host. Bacteria produce substances that may cause inflammatory reactions in the human body. This may lead to new treatments.

infections with Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria Very dangerous, especially for patients with a previously weakened immune system. The pathogen does not respond to many antibiotics. In order to overcome it, the Viennese scientists are investigating, among others, the insidious interactions between bacteria and the body of their host.

New treatment modalities

It was already known that bacteria coordinate their attacks with each other using a signaling substance called “2-alkylquinolone”. It was assumed that pathogens can also use lipid metabolism to produce other similar compounds Thomas Butcher from the University of Vienna and his team. In fact, they have now been able to demonstrate that bacteria also produce “hydroxyl 2-alkylquinolone”. the results They have now been published in the journal Communications Chemistry.

This opens up additional options for him: “We were able to show that a relatively low concentration of hydroxyl-2-alkyquinolone is sufficient to activate the inflammatory messenger IL-8 in human cells. This indicates that Pseudomonas aeruginosa modulates the host’s immune response,” says lead study author Viktoriia Savchenko. In a press release from the University of Vienna. By exploring this strategy further, the researchers hope to find new ways to treat the infection.

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