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Friday, 22 July 2016

Streptococcus camouflage its recognition molecule to evade immune response

Innate immune system able to recognize a certain molecule in a pathogen that leads to trigger inflammatory roles in host.  A series of cascades of signals among immune cells of the body leads to clear the pathogens from our body. Scientists from Institut Pasteur and CRNS with cooperation of University of Massachusetts Medical School discovered that group B Streptococcus degrade of such molecules so that they can take control over inflammatory response of host. This recent findings is published in the journal Cell Host and Microbe on July 13, 2016.

Image: Macrophages infected by group B Streptococcus. The sample was observed using fluorescence microscopy. The actin filaments in the macrophage are shown in green and the bacteria in red. Courtesy:  Institut Pasteur / E. Davenas and P. Trieu-Cuot.

Innate immune system is the first line of defence in our body. It recognizes specific molecules of the bacterium and leading a cascade of information that leads to coordinated response against the invading microbe which can be eliminated. However this recent research have turned the table, with a property of certain class of bacteria avoid this by removing such molecule.

Type I interferons is a type of molecule produced by immune cells to eradicate microbial infection, specifically group B Streptococcus (GBS). This bacterium is well known to cause infection to newborns.

Scientists collaboratively work together to find a new mechanism that enables bacteria to inhibit the action of interferon production. Interferon production and following GBS infection depends upon cell producing two types of molecules released by bacteria: bacterial DNA and cyclic di-AMP. Researchers identified an enzyme at the surface of GBS called CDNP hydrolyzes own cyclic di-AMP and hence interferon does not able to recognize any molecule.

This similar mechanism where a bacterium degrades their own molecule to evade immune response may present in other pathogens too.


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