How Burkholderia pseudomallei Causes Melioidosis


Hinxton - British researchers of The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute have elucidated why the bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei causes a disease (melioidosis) which symptoms mimic so much other diseases. Julian Parkhill and his team found that the two chromosomes of B. pseudomallei carry highly segregated genes. Whilst one covers most of the genes that are essential for cell growth, general metabolism and the survival of the organism, the other contains a lot of acquired genes that promote adaptation and survival in different environments. The team says 16 genetic islands represen-ting 6% of the genome are behind this variability. The islands may have origin-ally been acquired from viruses, trans-posons, and other genetic jumpers. They encode proteins that make it easy to exchange genetic material and cause human disease. B. pseudomallei variants can quickly and easily shuffle and exchange these traits, which may be the major factor in the bacteria's ability to survive in soil and cause multifaceted disease in humans. The bug's genetic plasticity makes melioidoisis difficult to treat clinically and to prevent with a vaccine, the team says.



Norwich – A new meta-analysis of 16 clinical studies hits GlaxoSmith Kline’s diabetes drug rosaglitazone (Avandia). In a comparison to the diabetes drug pioglizaton (Actos), which acts on the same target (the PPARgamma receptor),...



Oxford/Seattle – British Chroma Therapeutics Ltd has licensed co-development and marketing rights for its oral cancer drug candidate tosedostat to US-based Cell Therapeutics Inc. According to the agreement, Cell Therapeutics will...



Cambridge (UK) – British researchers have discovered 12 new genetic markers involved in the development the chronic autoimmune liver disease biliary cirrhosis, which leads to irritation and swelling of the bile ducts and often...



Edinburgh – Lowering cholesterol could help the body's immune system fight viral infections. According to results presented from Scientists at the University of Edinburgh, the effect is mediated by a type I-interferon signal...



London – Cells normally boost expression of Checkpoint Kinase 1 (Chk1), to block cell division after DNA damage has occurred in their nucleus. Researchers headed by Iain McNeish from the Queen Mary University of London have now...



Manchester – UK biotech firm Renovo has announced it is going to cut 100 jobs after the firm’s licensing partner Shire LLC announced yesterday it will terminate the partnership. In mid-February Renovo reported Phase III failure...



Leeds/Calgary – Oncolytic reoviruses not only kill cancer cells directly but also force them to secrete cytokines that recruit cancer killing cells from the innate and adaptive immune system. According to researchers from Leeds...



Manchester – Hypoxia occurs in most solid tumours and is known to suppress chemotherapy-induced cell death (apoptosis). Researchers from Manchester University have shown that human colorectal and small cell lung cancer cells can...



British drug developer Acadia Pharma (Cambridge) has successfully completed Phase I dose escalation studies on APD515, an oromucosal formulation of a muscarinic agonist for treatment of xerostomia that affects 80% of advanced...

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