Breaking News
May 22, 2018 - CSIRO study urges Australians to avoid junk protein foods for healthy weight loss
May 22, 2018 - Breath Test Shows Promise for Diagnosis of Esophagogastric CA
May 22, 2018 - Common class of drugs linked to dementia even when taken 20 years before diagnosis
May 22, 2018 - Optimal Biomarker Frequency for Biosensors
May 22, 2018 - Ethics of conducting clinical research during public health emergencies
May 22, 2018 - FDA Approves Aimovig (erenumab), The First Drug Aimed at Preventing Migraines
May 22, 2018 - Warning labels on alcohol containers highly deficient, new research shows
May 22, 2018 - Doctors publish comprehensive proposal to ensure universal access to safe, affordable medications
May 22, 2018 - When is insurance not really insurance? When you need pricey dental care.
May 22, 2018 - Thyroid tumors may be more susceptible to precisely targeted radiation treatment, suggests study
May 22, 2018 - Researchers uncover clues to early lung transplant failure
May 22, 2018 - Coagulation Factor Tests: MedlinePlus Lab Test Information
May 22, 2018 - Booze ads cause risky drinking in young people
May 22, 2018 - Are you and your primary care doc ready to talk about your DNA?
May 22, 2018 - UCI research team uncovers new unexpected mode of neurotransmitter-based communication
May 22, 2018 - Researcher develops nanoparticle-based tags to detect viruses and cancer with high sensitivity
May 22, 2018 - Researchers highlight need for transgender-inclusive healthcare providers
May 22, 2018 - Celgene to share new and updated data around novel hematological therapies
May 22, 2018 - Scientists identify cell types underlying schizophrenia
May 22, 2018 - ACR urges legislative action on access and cost barriers in rheumatologic care
May 22, 2018 - Study examines link between nicotine dependence and likelihood to quit smoking after lung cancer screening
May 22, 2018 - New report highlights danger of childhood drowning in open water
May 22, 2018 - Proposed definition of patient-centeredness and engagement in healthcare
May 22, 2018 - Scientists reveal likely cause of childhood leukaemia
May 22, 2018 - Specific patterns of fat distribution linked to metabolic disease, shows study
May 22, 2018 - Novel drug prevents memory impairment in mice exposed to simulated deep space radiation
May 22, 2018 - New LIVE scoring tool effectively predicts future risk of hospitalization for COPD patients
May 22, 2018 - Most people with preclinical signs of Alzheimer’s disease may not develop dementia
May 22, 2018 - Fetal MRI can accurately identify holoprosencephaly by 18 weeks of gestation
May 22, 2018 - Multidisciplinary clinic can provide quality care for low-income patients with lung conditions
May 22, 2018 - Researchers create tool to determine patient’s response to immunotherapy drugs
May 22, 2018 - Pfizer starts Phase 1/2 study of RSV vaccine candidate in healthy adult volunteers
May 22, 2018 - New technique allows researchers to control heart cells growing in a dish
May 22, 2018 - FDA Approves Lokelma (sodium zirconium cyclosilicate) for the Treatment of Adults with Hyperkalemia
May 22, 2018 - Making America’s doctors look more like America
May 22, 2018 - Few parents use simple strategies to protect kids from food poisoning, reports study
May 22, 2018 - Reduction in heart disease risk factors could help prevent frailty among older adults
May 22, 2018 - Study finds age-related racial disparities in youth suicide
May 22, 2018 - Childhood leukemia linked to lack of childhood infections
May 22, 2018 - Scientists identify new drug target to combat chikungunya virus
May 22, 2018 - PSCK9 inhibitors may provide benefit to atherosclerosis patients with high lipoprotein(a) levels
May 22, 2018 - Celltrion Healthcare advocates early introduction of biologics for patients to improve clinical outcomes
May 22, 2018 - Local anesthetic drug not linked to reduction in opioid use, complications after knee surgery
May 22, 2018 - FDA Alert: Keytruda (pembrolizumab) or Tecentriq (atezolizumab): FDA Alerts Health Care Professionals and Investigators: FDA Statement
May 22, 2018 - Post-surgical opioids can, paradoxically, lead to chronic pain
May 22, 2018 - Flow of cerebrospinal fluid found to be key signal for neural stem cell renewal
May 22, 2018 - Nipah virus kills nine in Kerala, India
May 22, 2018 - Higher body temperatures speed the bodies’ responses to infections and tumors, finds research
May 22, 2018 - Staying up all night, sleeping all day can swiftly impact over 100 proteins in the blood
May 22, 2018 - Combination of vascular risk and brain amyloid levels may accelerate age-related cognitive decline
May 22, 2018 - ASCO: Few Eligible Smokers Had CT Screen for Lung CA in 2016
May 22, 2018 - In Brazil, patients risk everything for the ‘right to beauty’
May 22, 2018 - Women with gestational diabetes may be at greater risk for chronic kidney disease
May 22, 2018 - Flavonoid intake may reduce lung function decline that occurs with aging
May 22, 2018 - AACN brings together over thousands of nurses for annual conference
May 22, 2018 - AHA: ‘Ideal’ Heart Health Eludes More Americans
May 22, 2018 - Drug used to treat daytime sleepiness does not appear to improve driving in those with sleep apnea
May 22, 2018 - Incorporation of AI could transform cancer diagnosis in UK
May 22, 2018 - Neurological protein found to protect against inflammatory diseases
May 22, 2018 - Lipoprotein (a) Blood Test: MedlinePlus Lab Test Information
May 22, 2018 - A new molecular target identified in depression
May 22, 2018 - Researchers discover new gene locations that determine heart’s response to exercise
May 21, 2018 - HCM mutation prevents the heart from increasing pumping force, study shows
May 21, 2018 - Intelligent brains possess fewer neuronal connections, finds study
May 21, 2018 - UA physicians developing new tool to detect urethral blockage
May 21, 2018 - Fish-eating habits of pregnant women not linked to autistic traits in their children
May 21, 2018 - Shingrix Shingles Vaccination | What You Should Know
May 21, 2018 - Early depression diagnosis is deadly serious for patients with coronary artery disease
May 21, 2018 - Reducing exposure to hormone interfering chemicals may mitigate obesity risk
May 21, 2018 - Analysis of lymph node dissection shows no overall survival benefit in renal carcinoma patients
May 21, 2018 - FDA Approves Aimovig (erenumab-aooe) as a Preventive Treatment for Migraine
May 21, 2018 - Infant death study reveals dangerous sleep practices among babysitters, relatives, others
May 21, 2018 - Intermittent fasting may increase diabetes risk, shows study
May 21, 2018 - Increase in local temperature correlates with higher degree of antibiotic resistance, finds study
May 21, 2018 - Treg infusions show promise in slowing progression of ALS
May 21, 2018 - New study shows declines in prostate cancer screening, diagnoses and treatment
May 21, 2018 - Fasting diets could raise risk of diabetes say experts
May 21, 2018 - FDA Alert: 7K and Poseidon 4500 by Shoreside Enterprises: Voluntary Recall
May 21, 2018 - Cell phones at summer camp: Research explores the effects
May 21, 2018 - Birth rate decline driven by waiting longer to have children, cost of infertility treatment
Immune system can produce ‘universal antibodies’ against various microorganisms

Immune system can produce ‘universal antibodies’ against various microorganisms

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

Bacteria and other microorganisms display structures from sugar molecules on their surfaces. These sugar structures play an important role for immune defense. “They enable the immune system to recognize invaders that do not belong in the body,” explains Hedda Wardemann from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg. “Antibodies specifically attach to these structures and neutralize the pathogen.”

Based on the sugar structures on their surface, bacteria can be classified in subgroups. As a rule, an antibody eliminates only one subgroup and does not protect against other microbes. However, in studies with the bacterium Klebsiella pneumoniae, researchers led by Wardemann have now been the first to find that the immune system also produces antibodies that recognize and neutralize various microorganisms.

More than a third of all humans are colonized by rod-shaped bacteria of a species called Klebsiella, which is found primarily on the nasal mucosa and in the gut. In healthy individuals, Klebsiella pneumoniae is completely harmless. But in people with weakened immune systems, it can replicate excessively and cause life-threatening diseases. In addition, Klebsiella pneumoniae is a frequent cause of hospital-acquired infections and is increasingly resistant to antibiotics.

In their study, the investigators obtained antibodies against the bacterium from the blood of healthy individuals. “The antibodies protected against various subgroups of Klebsiella pneumoniae,” Wardemann reports. “But they were not restricted to this particular pathogen and also recognized other bacteria and even certain yeasts and viruses.”

A closer look at the sugar-derived structures on the germs’ surfaces revealed how they can do so. All microorganisms to which the Klebsiella antibodies were able to attach displayed a small structure from a sugar called mannose. Forming antibodies that recognize this sugar structure on a variety of microorganisms allows the immune system to efficiently fend off various pathogenic agents – using only a single type of molecule.

It has been unknown so far that the immune system can produce these “universal antibodies” against Klebsiella pneumoniae and other microorganisms. “Potential therapeutic use of antibodies is gaining importance because resistance to antibiotics is becoming ever more frequent,” said Wardemann.

In Germany, an estimated 400,000 to 600,000 people each year contract infections while hospitalized; about 10,000 to 15,000 people die from these infections. A proportion of the hospital-acquired infections is caused by germs that are resistant to antibiotics, frequently by Klebsiella pneumoniae. Therapeutic antibodies produced in the lab might help patients combat the infection. In high-risk groups such as patients with weakened immune systems, the antibodies might also be used preventively. Their ability to recognize and eliminate a variety of pathogens is pivotal for their effectiveness. “A patient with acute septicemia – blood poisoning caused by bacteria – must be treated quickly”, said Wardemann.

First examinations have already shown the effectiveness of Klebsiella antibodies: “In mice, the antibodies were capable of neutralizing various subgroups of Klebsiella, thus protecting the animals,” Wardemann reports. “In a next step, we will have to do further tests with the antibodies to show their clinical value in humans.”

About author

Related Articles