Posted on Jul 06, 2018, 10 p.m.
A naturally occurring lipid has been identified by NIH researchers that is used by disease causing bacterium to impair host immune response and increase chance of infection which may be a potent inflammation therapy to be used against viral and bacterial diseases, as published in the Journal of Innate Immunity.
Lipids have been known to help Francisella tularensis bacteria to suppress host inflammation. A form of lipid phosphatidylethanoloamine present in bacterium in cell cultures in natural and synthetic form reduced inflammation caused by both tularemia bacteria and dengue fever virus.
Tularemia is a serious life threatening disease that is spread to humans via contact with an infected animal or bite from a tick, deer fly, or mosquito; it is difficult to diagnose as bacteria can suppress immune response, once diagnosed it can be successfully treated. Dengue fever spread primarily by mosquito leads to high fever, body pain, and severe headache; although there is not a specific treatment it is rarely fatal.
Identifying phosphatidylethanoloamine as the lipid to impair immune response researchers can consider the potential of its therapeutic value. Synthetic lipids PE2410 and PEPC2410 have been developed which could be easier to study and produce, both of which have been verified to suppress immune response during infection of mouse and human cell experiments in the laboratory.
Several types of viral infections involve unconstrained inflammatory response, natural and synthetic phosphatidylethanoloamine have been tested in the laboratory against dengue fever infected human cells, both were observed to inhibit immune response.
Researchers plan to continue their effort exploring how Francisella tularensis impairs the immune response in hopes their findings will lead to development of potent broad based spectrum and anti-inflammatory therapeutic.
Materials provided by NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
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Robin Ireland, Benjamin Schwarz, Glenn Nardone, Tara D. Wehrly, Corey D. Broeckling, Abhilash I. Chiramel, Sonja M. Best, Catharine M. Bosio. Unique FrancisellaPhosphatidylethanolamine Acts as a Potent Anti-Inflammatory Lipid. Journal of Innate Immunity, 2018; 1 DOI: 10.1159/000489504