Friday 19 July 2013

Enterococcus faecalis

The bacterium, Enterococcus faecalis, is the second-leading cause of hospital-associated infections in the U.S. E. faecalis is naturally found in the gastrointestinal tract of humans and other mammals. But outside the intestinal walls, the bacteria can cause bacteremia, urinary tract infections and endocarditis. It has been suggested that the bacteria are 100 to 1,000 times more resistant to lysozyme than other bacteria (lysozyme is an infection-fighting substance that humans produce and is found in numerous body tissues, such as tear film, the urinary tract and saliva).

As part of the fight against this dangerous pathogen, researchers have discovered how a regulatory system helps this bacteria resist a host's innate immune defense -- a finding that may help develop novel drug compounds to fight the bacteria.

By understanding the bacteria's regulatory network, the researchers hope to develop novel drug compounds that can block the bacterium's ability to sense and respond to the presence of lysozyme and other stresses during infection.

To read about this important step, refer to the following paper:

S. Varahan, V. S. Iyer, W. T. Moore, L. E. Hancock. Eep Confers Lysozyme Resistance to Enterococcus faecalis via the Activation of the Extracytoplasmic Function Sigma Factor SigV. Journal of Bacteriology, 2013; 195 (14): 3125 DOI: 10.1128/JB.00291-13

Posted by Tim Sandle

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