Scientists Can Prevent Infections By Disturbing the Communication Between Bacteria

Bacteria are tiny organisms which can easily enter in to our body. They quickly get adapted to the environment inside our body and multiply in large number. Based on the type they are, they affect a particular organ in the body by releasing dangerous chemical substances called toxins. The release of these toxins cause infections and we fall ill. An important aspect in the quick adaptability and multiplicity of the bacteria is the communication technique between them.

Researchers from the University of Groningen, have succeeded in cutting the communication between the bacteria while they try to spread themselves. In this way, the entire process infection was prevented. The research finding is looked upon as the first step towards the development of a new antibacterial therapy.

Basics to Understand the Research Findings: Living organisms on earth are made up of cells. They are the basic building blocks of life. There are two types of organisms namely the single cell and the multi cell ones. We humans are made up of billions of cells and thus are multi cell organisms. Bacteria are single cell organisms.

Every cell contain a component called receptors on its surface. It helps in the communication between two cells by exchanging of signal molecules. When two single celled bacteria come closer, the receptor of one bacteria generates and sends a signal molecule. It gets attached to the receptor of the another single celled bacteria conveying the message. This is how bacteria communicate with each other. This process of bacterial communication, to get adapted and multiply quickly, is called “quorum sensing”.

Knowledge Gained from the Research:

  • Researchers learnt that these signalling molecules provide the bacteria their disease causing abilities.
  • These molecules also protect them from getting detected by the natural protective system of our body called the immune system, in the initial stages of the infection.
  • The moment the number of generated bacteria cross a particular mark (called the quorem), they start the process of infection of an organ by releasing the harmful toxins.
  • Researchers have developed the structure of a chemical substance called Acylase enzyme, which can disturb the process of quorum sensing and prevent infection.
  • This chemical substance is believed to effective in preventing lung infection.
  • Further research of highest order is to carried out to finally produce the chemical substance Acylase in the laboratory.

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