Bacterial offender in parasitic infection

bacteria in filarial parasites have a major role in the corneal pathology of river blindness.

By | March 13, 2002

Wolbachia bacteria are essential symbionts of filarial nematode parasites including Onchocerca volvulus — the causative agent of river blindness — but a role for the bacteria in human corneal pathology was unexpected. But, in March 8 Science, Amélie v. Saint André and colleagues from University Hospitals of Cleveland and Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, USA show that species of endosymbiotic Wolbachia bacteria are actually involved in the pathogenesis of river blindness.

Saint André et al. used a murine model of corneal inflammation (keratitis) and injected soluble extracts of filarial nematodes into the corneal stroma. The corneas were subsequently examined by scanning confocal microscopy. They found that the predominant inflammatory response in the cornea was due to species of endosymbiotic Wolbachia bacteria and was dependent on expression of functional Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) on host cells (Science 2002, 295:1892-1895).

"The results presented here demonstrate that in addition to targeting Wolbachia for sustained anti-filarial effects, clearance of Wolbachia by antibiotic treatment may also reduce and prevent ocular onchocerciasis", concluded the authors.

Popular Now

  1. Broad Wins CRISPR Patent Interference Case
    Daily News Broad Wins CRISPR Patent Interference Case

    The USPTO’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board has ruled in favor of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard retaining intellectual property rights covered by its patents for CRISPR gene-editing technology.

  2. Henrietta Lacks’s Family Seeks Compensation
  3. Can Plants Learn to Associate Stimuli with Reward?
  4. Humans Never Stopped Evolving
    Features Humans Never Stopped Evolving

    The emergence of blood abnormalities, an adult ability to digest milk, and changes in our physical appearance point to the continued evolution of the human race.

Business Birmingham