18 July 2024
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Uncovering the Role of a Key Biomolecule in Whooping Cough Infection

Whooping cough, also known as pertussis, is a highly contagious respiratory infection caused by the Bordetella bacteria. Despite widespread vaccination efforts, the bacteria continue to spread due to their ability to colonize and persist in the nasal passages. In a recent breakthrough, researchers have identified a crucial biomolecule, known as a glycan, that plays a pivotal role in the colonization of Bordetella in the nose. This discovery opens up new possibilities for the development of targeted drugs or vaccines to disrupt the glycan and potentially halt the transmission of whooping cough.

The Significance of the Newly Discovered Glycan in Bordetella Infection

The newly discovered glycan, named Bordetella colonization oligosaccharide (b-Cool), is essential for the bacteria to efficiently colonize the nasal passages and transmit to new hosts. This glycan is found in various Bordetella species, including those infecting animals, as well as in strains isolated from human patients. By targeting b-Cool, researchers aim to develop vaccines and medications that can effectively combat both animal and human infections of whooping cough. Understanding how b-Cool facilitates Bordetella colonization in the nose is crucial for the development of therapeutics that can interfere with this process.

Research Insights and Future Implications

The research conducted by Yang Su and his team at the University of Georgia sheds light on the molecular mechanisms underlying Bordetella infection. By investigating the function and structure of the newly discovered glycan, the researchers were able to demonstrate its critical role in nose colonization and transmission. The potential to develop a vaccine targeting b-Cool represents a promising avenue for controlling the spread of whooping cough and protecting vulnerable populations, such as infants and the elderly.

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Advancing Towards Targeted Therapies for Whooping Cough

The identification of b-Cool as a key biomolecule involved in Bordetella infection marks a significant milestone in the fight against whooping cough. Moving forward, researchers will focus on unraveling the precise mechanisms by which b-Cool mediates colonization in the nasal passages. This knowledge will be instrumental in the development of therapeutics that can disrupt the colonization process and prevent the spread of the bacteria. The ongoing efforts to create a vaccine targeting b-Cool hold great promise for improving the control and prevention of whooping cough infections in both humans and animals.

Links to additional Resources:

1. www.nih.gov 2. www.cdc.gov 3. www.who.int

Related Wikipedia Articles

Topics: Whooping cough, Bordetella bacteria, Glycan

Whooping cough
Whooping cough, also known as pertussis or the 100-day cough, is a highly contagious, vaccine-preventable bacterial disease. Initial symptoms are usually similar to those of the common cold with a runny nose, fever, and mild cough, but these are followed by two or three months of severe coughing fits. Following...
Read more: Whooping cough

Bordetella
Bordetella () is a genus of small (0.2 – 0.7 µm), Gram-negative, coccobacilli bacteria of the phylum Pseudomonadota. Bordetella species, with the exception of B. petrii, are obligate aerobes, as well as highly fastidious, or difficult to culture. All species can infect humans. The first three species to be described...
Read more: Bordetella

Glycan
The terms glycans and polysaccharides are defined by IUPAC as synonyms meaning "compounds consisting of a large number of monosaccharides linked glycosidically". However, in practice the term glycan may also be used to refer to the carbohydrate portion of a glycoconjugate, such as a glycoprotein, glycolipid, or a proteoglycan, even...
Read more: Glycan

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