Genes from cold-loving bacteria may one day be used to create live bacterial vaccines for common pathogens such as __Salmonella__ and the tuberculosis bacterium, according to a linkurl:study;http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2010/06/24/1004119107.abstract published yesterday (July 12) in the __Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences__.
By swapping genes that are essential for survival in pathogenic bacteria with those of their counterparts in cold-adapted bacteria from the arctic, microbiologist linkurl:Francis Nano;http://web.uvic.ca/~fnano/ at the University of Victoria in Canada and his colleagues succeeded in rendering them temperature-sensitive -- meaning, they died when exposed to normal temperatures. Moreover, when these new strains were injected into mice, they were unable to proliferate into the warmer internal organs of the animals but remained near the skin. Afterward, these animals did not fall ill from wild-type strains, suggesting the modified bacteria primed their immune cells against them, thus immunizing them. This paper stresses the importance of looking at the...
B.N. Duplantis, et al., "Essential genes from Arctic bacteria used to construct stable, temperature-sensitive bacterial vaccines," PNAS, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1004119107, 2010.
Interested in reading more?
Become a Member of
Receive full access to more than 35 years of archives, as well as TS Digest, digital editions of The Scientist, feature stories, and much more!