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.
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