26 March 2014

Artificial protein will cure pneumonia and meningitis

Researchers at the British University of Leicester, working under the guidance of Professor Wilhelm Schweeble, synthesized an artificial version of the protein properdin (it has a more euphonious name – Factor P), the introduction of which, even in small doses, provides a cure for pneumonia and meningitis in mice.

The function of properdin in the body is an alternative stimulation of the complement system – a mechanism that ensures the destruction of pathogenic bacteria that have entered the body. The artificial analogue of this protein synthesized by the authors differs from the natural properdin by a higher degree of polymerization. Experiments on mice infected with Streptococcus pneumoniae and Neisseria meningitidis showed that this modification of the structure increased the efficiency of the protein by 100 times. Moreover, artificial properdin ensures the rapid formation of a powerful immune response even after pathogenic bacteria enter the bloodstream.

The researchers note that when artificial properdin is added to human and mouse blood samples infected with a large number of meningococci, the bacteria literally "burst" like balloons.

An additional advantage of properdin therapy is the neutralization of toxins released during their destruction, which often turn out to be more dangerous to the body than the bacteria themselves, occurring simultaneously with the destruction of bacteria. Due to this, mice that have undergone properdin therapy look completely healthy and do not suffer from poisoning, which often accompanies the use of traditional methods of antibacterial therapy.

Infection with Streptococcus pneumoniae is the main cause of pneumonia and one of the most important causes of sepsis and meningitis. Every year, about 1.2 million people die due to this pathogen. Neisseria meningitidis causes epidemic bacterial meningitis and sepsis, characterized by high mortality, especially among children and young people.

The authors plan to conduct further experiments aimed at identifying other bacterial strains susceptible to properdin therapy. They are also going to conduct toxicological testing of their version of human properdin and hope to start the first clinical trial of the drug within the next five years.

Article by Yousif Mohammed Ali et al. Low-dose recombinant properdin provides substantial protection against Streptococcus pneumonia and Neisseria meningitidis infection published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Evgeniya Ryabtseva
Portal "Eternal youth" http://vechnayamolodost.ru based on the materials of the University of Leicester:
Artificial booster makes immune system dramatically more effective in fighting pneumonia and meningitis.


Found a typo? Select it and press ctrl + enter Print version