Breaking News
December 18, 2018 - Weight change in middle-aged, elderly Chinese Singaporeans related to increased risk of death
December 18, 2018 - Immune cells sacrifice themselves to protect us from invading bacteria
December 18, 2018 - Watching brain cells fire, with a twist of gravitational waves
December 18, 2018 - 2018 in Review
December 18, 2018 - Getting the Most Out of the CLARITY Technique
December 18, 2018 - NVF shoes provide a viable option for track and road racing
December 18, 2018 - CRISPR may restore effectiveness of chemotherapies used to treat lung cancer
December 18, 2018 - New app accurately measures and charts progression of skin wounds
December 18, 2018 - Persistent Discrimination ID’d Among Physician Mothers
December 18, 2018 - Cellphone technology developed to detect HIV
December 18, 2018 - A Stanford doctor hits the field with the 49ers — as their airway management physician
December 18, 2018 - The Rise of Anxiety Baking
December 18, 2018 - Just one night of sleep deprivation increases the urge to eat
December 18, 2018 - Study reveals mechanism behind failed remyelination in MS
December 18, 2018 - New genetic testing method increases the precision of biomarker analysis
December 18, 2018 - Simple technique to effectively treat underdiagnosed cause of debilitating chest pain
December 18, 2018 - Barbershop-based medical intervention can successfully lower blood pressure, new data shows
December 18, 2018 - Food labels have caused changes in consumers’ intake and industry’s use of key additives
December 18, 2018 - Sickest children could benefit from split liver transplants
December 18, 2018 - Scientists create patient-specific model to identify most effective treatment for appendix cancer
December 18, 2018 - Researchers discover promising new compound against Buruli ulcer
December 18, 2018 - Study finds significant use of traditional, complementary and alternative medicines in Sub-Saharan Africa
December 18, 2018 - California Farm Implicated in Outbreak of E. coli Tied to Romaine Lettuce
December 18, 2018 - Mobile health has power to transform HIV/AIDS nursing
December 18, 2018 - Celiac Vaccine in Clinical Trials at Columbia
December 18, 2018 - Research into mental health first aid prompts practical guidance and resources for workplace
December 18, 2018 - Researcher conducts study to investigate peripheral blood markers of Alzheimer’s disease
December 18, 2018 - Researchers identify link between mucus in the small airways and pulmonary fibrosis
December 18, 2018 - EU Commission’s Health Policy Platform to host EKHA program on transplantation
December 18, 2018 - Survivors of childhood Hodgkin lymphoma have high risk of developing solid tumors
December 18, 2018 - Small changes to cafeteria design can get kids to eat healthier, new assessment tool finds
December 18, 2018 - From Machines to Cyclic Compounds
December 18, 2018 - New study reveals best assessment tools to establish delirium severity
December 18, 2018 - Rice University scientists develop synthetic protein switches to control electron flow
December 18, 2018 - Home-based pulmonary function monitoring for teens with Duchenne muscular dystrophy
December 18, 2018 - Researchers identify potential target for new breast cancer treatments
December 18, 2018 - National Biofilms Innovation Centre award grant to Neem Biotech for novel anti-biofilm drug development
December 18, 2018 - Artificial intelligence and the future of medicine
December 18, 2018 - Montana State doctoral student receives grant for her work to improve neuroscience tool
December 18, 2018 - Early postpartum initiation of opioids associated with persistent use
December 18, 2018 - Russian scientists identify molecular ‘switch’ that could be target for treatment of allergic asthma
December 18, 2018 - Surgeons make more mistakes in the operating room during stressful moments, shows study
December 18, 2018 - Immune cells explode themselves to inform about the danger of invading bacteria
December 18, 2018 - Malnutrition in children with Crohn’s disease linked with increased risk of surgical complications
December 18, 2018 - FDA Approves Motegrity (prucalopride) for Adults with Chronic Idiopathic Constipation (CIC)
December 18, 2018 - The long and short of CDK12
December 18, 2018 - Hologic’s Cynosure division introduces TempSure Surgical RF technology in North America
December 18, 2018 - CMR Surgical partners with Nicholson Center to launch U.S.-based training program for Versius
December 18, 2018 - Findings reinforce guidelines for cautious use of antipsychotics in younger populations
December 18, 2018 - Study finds new strains of hepatitis C virus in sub-Saharan Africa
December 18, 2018 - New battery-free, implantable device aids weight loss
December 18, 2018 - Parental alcohol use disorder associated with offspring marital outcomes
December 18, 2018 - Novel Breast Imaging Technique Might Cut Unnecessary Biopsies
December 18, 2018 - What can a snowflake teach us about how cancer spreads in the body?
December 18, 2018 - Management of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy costs the NHS more than previously thought
December 18, 2018 - Green leafy vegetables may reduce risk of developing liver steatosis
December 18, 2018 - Veganism linked to nutrient deficiencies and malnutrition if not planned correctly
December 18, 2018 - Coming Soon: A Tiny Robot You Swallow to Help You Stay Healthy
December 18, 2018 - Modified malaria drug proven effective at inhibiting Ebola
December 18, 2018 - Study finds epigenetic differences in the brains of individuals with schizophrenia
December 18, 2018 - Fitness instructors’ motivational comments influence women’s body satisfaction
December 18, 2018 - Study focuses on modification of lipid nanoparticles for successful brain cell targeting
December 18, 2018 - New gut bacteria may be effective against obesity, metabolic and mental disorders
December 18, 2018 - New two-in-one powder aerosol to upgrade fight against deadly superbugs in lungs
December 18, 2018 - Biofilms feed with swirling flows
December 17, 2018 - Study identifies specific neurological changes related to traumatic brain injury
December 17, 2018 - New study confirms geographic bias in lung allocation for transplant
December 17, 2018 - Research focuses on optimization of solid lipid nanoparticle that encapsulates Vinorelbine bitartrate
December 17, 2018 - Carpal tunnel syndrome – Genetics Home Reference
December 17, 2018 - A novel insulin accelerant
December 17, 2018 - Tips for caring for patients with disabilities, from a mother and physician
December 17, 2018 - Menopause-related sexual, urinary problems tied to worse quality of life
December 17, 2018 - In-school nutrition programs among students limit increases in BMI, finds study
December 17, 2018 - Risk for Hospitalization for Heart Failure Greater With Diabetes
December 17, 2018 - Food assistance may help older adults adhere to diabetes meds
December 17, 2018 - Supporting a family’s goals during a difficult pregnancy
December 17, 2018 - Neurons with Good Housekeeping Are Protected from Alzheimer’s
December 17, 2018 - New approach to tumor analysis could improve prognosis for bowel cancer patients
December 17, 2018 - New ‘epigenetics-based’ cervical cancer test outperforms Pap smear and HPV tests
December 17, 2018 - Ten year follow-up after negative colonoscopy related to reduced risk of colorectal cancer
Genes responsible for drug resistance in Leprosy uncovered

Genes responsible for drug resistance in Leprosy uncovered

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

Leprosy is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium leprae. It causes damage to the skin and nervous system, leading to severe deformities.  

Credit: Kateryna Kon/Shutterstock.com

Despite the availability of prescription drugs to treat the condition, hundreds of thousands of cases still appear annually worldwide. These patients are infected not only with the drug sensitive strains, but also drug resistant strains of the bacteria, which are notoriously difficult to kill and eradicate. This makes treatment a challenge.

In a new study, a team of researchers in Stewart Cole’s lab at EPFL’s Global Health Institute have analyzed the genome of the bacterium, with the aim of advancing knowlegde of the genes involved in antibiotic resistance.

Laboratory studies of M. leprae are typically difficult because it cannot be grown in a lab, slowing research. The new study, researchers analyzed the genes of 154 strains of M. leprae from samples collected around the world.

The scientists discovered several new genes associated with development of antibiotic resistance. According to Professor Stewart Cole, this research is important because it shows how one of the mainstay drugs in leprosy works.

It is hoped that the study can aid further research into the mechanism of drugs commonly used to treat leprosy.  The study titled, “Phylogenomics and antimicrobial resistance of the leprosy bacillus Mycobacterium leprae” was published in the latest issue of the journal Nature Communications.

Cole explained that it was a challenge to isolate the DNA from M. leprae mainly because the skin samples from leprosy patients yield very low amounts of the bacteria.

Once the samples were subjected to DNA extraction, the team had to separate the patient’s DNA from the leprosy bacterial DNA to isolate pure bacterial DNA. Finally, they could sequence the DNA from the bacteria and compare it with the other samples that they had collected.

The results showed that there are eight strains of the bacteria that have a huge number of random mutations that have come down from generations over the years.

All eight strains were found to be resistant to the cocktail of drugs that are currently used to treat leprosy. The scientists showed that this was due to a disruption in the gene that codes for DNA repair.

It’s a fascinating survival strategy against antibiotics. Disrupting DNA repair will result in a storm of random mutations, increasing the chance that the right gene mutates at the right spot and lead to drug resistance. But random mutations can be deadly, so it’s like a desperate, genetic Russian roulette for the bacterium.”

Dr Andrej Benjak, Lead Author of the study and researcher at EPFL’s Global Health Institute

Charlotte Avanzi, one of the study’s authors said that the stains and their genetic makeup reveal that they have originated in Eurasia rather than in Africa, as was previously believed. She went on to say  that more studies and samples would be necessary to understand the origin of the bacteria.

We need more samples from Central Asia and the Middle East, but these are hard to get due to current geopolitical issues. For Europe, where leprosy is eradicated, we have to rely on ancient human remains. But it’s possible – we have developed the tools, and now we are ready to sequence even more samples.”

Charlotte Avanzi, Author of the study and Doctoral Candidate in the Department of Molecular Life Sciences at EPFL’s Global Health Institute

Source:

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-01/mifr-vrd011918.php

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles