A defence mechanism that can trap and kill TB bacteria

A natural mechanism by which our cells kill the bacterium responsible for tuberculosis (TB) has been discovered, which could help in the battle against antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The findings, published in Cell Host & Microbe, could enable scientists to develop treatments for TB -- one of the world's biggest health challenges -- without the use of antibiotics, meaning that even antibiotic-resistant strains could be eliminated.
By imaging the infection of cells with TB bacteria in real time, the team uncovered an innate mechanism that prevents M. tuberculosis from damaging phagosomes: the phagosomes are enlarged so that the bacterium can't easily reach and puncture holes in the membrane. This gives the cell enough time for bacteria-killing weapons to enter before the bacterium has a chance to escape.
By tagging different components in the macrophage with fluorescent markers, the team were able to see the enlarging of M. tuberculosis-containing phagosomes in real time under the microscope. They observed that M. tuberculosis failed to escape from these enlarged membrane sacs and that antibacterial components were delivered more efficiently
Source : www.sciencedaily.com      2017/5/15 09:18

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