Attachment of bacteria to host cells is always the first and one of the critical steps in the development of infection. The purpose of this adhesion to infectious pathogens is to first colonize the host organism and then initiate infection. A thorough understanding of bacterial adhesion to host cells is therefore necessary to find therapeutic alternatives that prevent this critical interaction in the initial stage of infection.
Critical interaction with the human protein fibronectin
the study: Scientists from Frankfurt University Hospital and Goethe University have deciphered the mechanism of bacterial adhesion by acting on the human pathogenic bacterium Bartonella henselae. This pathogen causes “cat scratch disease,” a disease that is transmitted from animals to humans. For this, the team performs a range of adhesion tests in the lab and uses high-throughput proteomics (or study proteomics).
Key mechanism revealed: Bacterial adhesion to host cells has been attributed to the interaction of a class of adhesives (self-transport triple adhesions) including fibronectin, a protein often present in human tissues. Adhesives are components present on the surface of bacteria that allow the pathogen to adhere to the biological structures of the host. Congeners of the adhesive identified here as critical are also found in several bacteria that are pathogenic to humans, such as the multi-resistant Bacillus baumannii, for example.
Hope for ‘anti-ligand’ antibiotics
Identify the fine points of interaction between proteins: By identifying these key points and blocking the bacterial adhesion process at these sites, the scientists were able to prevent infection: this is a promising therapeutic alternative, in perspective, A new class of antibiotics (called “antagonists”) is promising against multi-resistant bacteria.