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Certain bacteria can override a defence mechanism of the immune system, so called programmed cell death, through inhibition of death effector molecules by their outer membranes components. Shigella bacteria, which cause diarrhoea, use lipopolysaccharides (LPS) on their surface to block the effector caspases. Lipopolysaccharides are a component of the bacterial outer membrane. This strategy enables the bacteria to multiply within the cell. This is the result of a study conducted by the molecular immunologist Professor Hamid Kashkar and his team in the institute for Medical Microbiology and Immunology at the CECAD Cluster of Excellence in Aging Research at the University of Cologne. The article, "Cytosolic Gram-negative bacteria prevent apoptosis by inhibition of effector caspases through LPS," by Günther et al., appeared in the current issue of Nature Microbiology.
Bacterial pathogens can escape the immune system by staying and multiplying within the body cells (intracellularly). The intracellular propagation of pathogens later leads to cell breakdown and the release of microorganisms that infect neighbouring cells, spread and cause tissue damage and infectious disease. However, the body has a response to this...
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