NOV 12, 2015 07:33 AM PST

A Potential Target for Treating Toxic Shock Syndrome

WRITTEN BY: Sarah Hertrich
2 12 1559
Streptococcus suis is a swine pathogen that was first reported in 1954 and is responsible for severe economic losses in the swine production industry. Infection in swine leads to meningitis, septicemia and arthritis in piglets. S. suis is now considered an emerging pathogen in humans with the first cases in humans identified in the 1960s in Denmark and Hong Kong. It has been identified as the third most common cause of adult meningitis in Hong Kong and the second cause of meningitis in Vietnam and Thailand with greater than 700 cases per year occurring globally. Scientists speculate that the emergence of S. suis in humans is due to increased capacity to infect humans in certain geographical areas as well as the increased awareness and improved detection of S. suis in humans.
 
Streptococcus suis is a swine pathogen as well as an emerging pathogen in humans that causes toxic-shock syndrome.


A previous study showed that 63% of patients infected with S. suis experiencing symptoms of “Streptococcal toxic-shock-like syndrome (STSLS)” presented high serum levels of IFN-γ, TNA-α, IL-8, IL-12 and IL-1β. Similar studies in mice showed that experimental infection to induce STSLS led to increased levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines which seemed to play a role in the development of meningitis and sudden death.

More recently, it was confirmed that the triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells-1 (TREM1) gene appeared to boost the immune response and played a role in the clearance of S. suis during infection. Researchers from Huazhong Agricultural University in China aimed to determine whether the introduction of recombinant TREM1 could be used to inhibit the signaling of immune cells in the presence of antibiotic resistance. They also sought to evaluate the role of TREM1 in the immune response related to STSLS caused by S. suis and whether or not TREM1 could be used to boost clearance of bacteria in the presence of antibiotics.

According to the article published in Frontiers in Cellular Infection Microbiology, authors found that rTREM1 “aggravated” S. situ infection in a mouse animal model. In their control experiment, they treated mice with antibiotics only (no rTREM1) and found that the rate of survival in mice did not increase following the treatment. In contrast, combined treatment with rTREM1 and antibiotics led to proficient bacterial clearance as well as alleviated inflammation. These effects were due to the reduction of the exaggerated pro-inflammatory response in mice caused by rTREM1. The authors concluded that blockage of TREM1 signaling could be an effective target in the treatment of STSLS in the presence of antibiotics.

Sources: Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology; Clinical Infectious Diseases
About the Author
  • I am a postdoctoral researcher with interests in pre-harvest microbial food safety, nonthermal food processing technologies, zoonotic pathogens, and plant-microbe interactions. My current research projects involve the optimization of novel food processing technologies to reduce the number of foodborne pathogens on fresh produce. I am a food geek!
You May Also Like
JUN 08, 2018
Genetics & Genomics
JUN 08, 2018
Visualizing Gene Activity in Single Cells
Updates to a technique that labels genes with fluorescent tags has enabled the simultaneous visualization of over 10,000 genes in one cell.
JUL 21, 2018
Cell & Molecular Biology
JUL 21, 2018
Revving the Nanomotor
Many people have never heard of cilia, but these tiny appendages are an essential part of the cell.
JUL 21, 2018
Videos
JUL 21, 2018
Artificial Nerves May Transform Prosthetics
Researchers at Stanford made an artificial nerve that could move a cockroach leg.
JUL 27, 2018
Cell & Molecular Biology
JUL 27, 2018
Getting Water From an Internal Source
When snakes were deprived of water they turned to muscle to fill their needs.
AUG 01, 2018
Videos
AUG 01, 2018
Award-winning Images of Organoids From the Koch Institute
Every year, the Koch Institute at MIT shares some of the most stunning images produced at the research facility.
AUG 04, 2018
Videos
AUG 04, 2018
A Radical New Approach to Treating Neurodegeneration
The pathways that neural impulses travel can't be retrieved once they're lost... or can they?
Loading Comments...