Total Pageviews

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Bac(teria) To The Future: Two Bacterial Types Helpful in Vaccine Transport and in Blocking Zika Transmission

          Yeah! The rest of the USA may be celebrating the fourth of July but we here at Partial Ellipsis of the Sun are celebrating bacteria. Two research publications published the first week of July note the role of two kinds of bacteria in being a vaccine transport capsule and in blocking Zika virus transmission. 

     Researchers experimenting with harmless strains of E. coli have developed an E. coli-based transport capsule designed to help next-generation vaccines do a more efficient and effective job than today’s immunizations.





       The research, described in a study published July 1, 2016, in the journal Science Advances, highlights the capsule’s success in fighting pneumococcal disease, an infection that can result in pneumonia, sepsis, ear infections and meningitis.




     “It’s a bit counterintuitive given what you hear about E. coli, but there are many strains of the bacteria, most of which are perfectly normal in the body, that have great potential to fight disease,” said Blaine A. Pfeifer, PhD, associate professor of chemical and biological engineering in the University at Buffalo School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

      The core of the transport capsule is harmless E. coli. A synthetic polymer — poly (beta amino ester), or PBAE — wraps around the bacteria and resembles a chain link fence. The positive-charged polymer, combined with the negative-charged bacteria cell wall, create a sort of hybrid capsule.




     To test the capsule, the researchers then inserted a protein-based vaccine, designed to fight pneumococcal disease. The results, when tested in mice, were impressive.

     The capsule’s hybrid design provided:

·         Both passive and active targeting of specific immune cells called antigen-presenting cells that trigger an immune response.

·         Natural and multicomponent adjuvant properties, which enhance the body’s immune response.

·         Dual intracellular delivery mechanisms to direct a particular immune response.

·         Simultaneous production and delivery of the components (antigens) required for a vaccine.

·         Strong vaccination protection capabilities against pneumococcal disease.

     It’s also relatively inexpensive to create and flexible in terms of use. For example, the capsule could be used as a delivery device for therapies that target cancer, viral-based infectious disease and other illnesses.

      And that's not all!




       This same week, researchers
 at the University of Wisconsin have confirmed that a benign bacterium called Wolbachia pipientis can completely block transmission of Zika virus in Aedes aegypti. Scientists say the bacteria could present a 'novel biological control mechanism,' aiding efforts to stop the spread of Zika virus.




       Other research with Wolbachia pipientis has previously shown that the bacterium is an effective tool in stopping transmission of mosquito-borne viruses. The newest research, stepped up due to the Summer Olympics in Brazil, is quite promising.

         Indeed, Bac(teria) to the Future is here! 

Happy July from the PEOTS Staph, ;-)
Steph

29 comments:

  1. Both of the links above point to the same article, about E. coli hybrid vector. No link to the Wolbachia/Zika paper.

    The Wikipedia page on Wolbachia includes an interesting caveat about using it this way for fighting human diseases, including West Nile Virus.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The link is now fixed. Thanks for the heads-up, jan.

    ReplyDelete
  3. PEOTSians All,

    After hearing Will Shortz has a favorite word, I am curious: What is your favorite word?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Paul,
    Here's hoping you never curb your enthusiasm for being curious!

    LegoThinksPaulIsACoolCatWithNineTimesNinetyLives

    ReplyDelete
  5. Steph (aka Word Woman) also generously challenged Puzzlerians! to name their favorite word on my puzzle blog yesterday (prompted by Will Shortz admitting that his favorite word is "ucalegon").

    So, today I thought I would challenge PEOTSIANS to name their favorite "science word" (for me, "tartigrade" is the leader in the clubhouse). So, PEOTSIANS, name your favorite "overall word" (dungarees?) but also your favorite "sciencey word"... okay?

    I also plan to run a puzzle in this Friday's Puzzleria! with a solution that is another favorite science word of mine.

    LegoWhoIsJustADungareeBeetleOnThePorkLoinsOfLife

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Here's a whole forum on science-y words.

      I am an alluvial fan fan.

      Delete
    2. I will go with the science-y phrase "correlation does not imply causation".

      Delete
    3. David, I am putting that on the list, stat.

      Delete
  6. I am proud that researchers from the University of Wisconsin, my home-state university, confirmed that a bacterium can completely block transmission of Zika virus.

    LegoOnWisconsin!OnWolbachia!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I am proud that researchers from the University of Wisconsin, my home-state university, confirmed that a bacterium can completely block transmission of Zika virus.

    LegoOnWisconsin!OnWolbachia!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So strange, Lego, to have an uncommanded posting nearly 6 hours later. . .

      Delete
    2. So strange, Lego, to have an uncommanded posting nearly 6 hours later. . .

      Delete
    3. Steph,
      My computer is obviously much, much slower than yours!

      LegoDoppelgangerUpperDoublePoster

      Delete
  8. Replies
    1. Wow! Linking seafloor to space--very cool stuff. Thanks, jan.

      Delete
    2. Very cool, yes. But not as cool as linking seafood to space.

      LegoWhoIsAChildOfTheCrabConstellation

      Delete
    3. Lego, sushi and liquefaction just don't seem to go together. . .

      Delete
  9. How can you tell the difference between a chemist and a plumber?

    Ask them to pronounce “unionized.”

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do you spell it out or write it out?

      Delete
    2. Paul, your call (literally).

      Delete
    3. See today's New York Times crossword!

      Delete
  10. New post on "BUM in the Ocean: In Situ Microscopy "Polyps" Into View" is now up.

    ReplyDelete