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New Technology Creates Beneficial Bacteria With Pathogen-Fighting Capabilities

  October, 1 2000 18:58
your information resource in human molecular genetics
Bacteria develop killer Abs

A dash of the bacteria in a live yoghurt can be just what the doctor ordered for keeping sore throats at bay. Now investigators have improved on the concept by conferring on beneficial bacteria pathogen-fighting capabilities. They have created a beneficial bacteria that expresses antibodies that can kill the pathogen that causes thrush - an infection which can lead to sore throats in immunocompromised patients or more commonly vaginal yeast infections in women [Nature Biotechnology - October 2000 issue].

Luciano Polonelli and his team had previously created an antibody that mimicked the activity of an antibiotic produced by another bacteria and had shown that it could kill a variety of microorganisms, including Candida albicans, the microbe that causes thrush. However, the antibodies were costly and difficult to produce and also were unstable, making them unsuitable for clinical use. By coaxing the beneficial bacteria Streptococcus gordonii to produce the antibody, they demonstrate that the Ab producing bacterium can quickly resolve vaginal yeast infections established in rats. The authors point out that the technology may be broadly applicable to treat a variety of infections on all the body’s surfaces, such as urinary tract, throat, or intestinal infections.

Contact (author)
Luciano Polonelli
Università degli Studi di Parma
Facoltà di Medicina e ChirrgiaIstituto di Microbiologia
Viale Antonio
Gramsci 1443100
Parma Italy
Telephone #: 39 +39 521 988885
Fax #: +39 521 993620
Email Address: lucpol@unipr.it

Contact (news & views)
Dr. Kevin Whaley
Epicyte Pharmaceuticals
5810 Nancyridge Drive
Suite 150
San Diego, CA 92121
Tel: 858 362 1041
Fax: 858 554 0288

(C) Nature Biotechnology press release.

Message posted by: Trevor M. D'Souza

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