Dublin: Irish Researchers Identify New Defence Against Hospital Superbug

28 Jul

New research led by Irish researchers has identified a way to defend against the hospital superbug, Clostridium difficile.

Hospital - Clostridium difficile subject of study

Hospital – Clostridium difficile subject of study

New research has identified a new way to defend against the hospital superbug, Clostridium difficile.

The new research, which has just been published in the journal PLOS Pathogens, has shown that the human immune system is able to recognise proteins which are found on the outside of the bacterium.

The study was jointly led by lecturers from Dublin City University and Trinity College, Dublin.

The recognition of these surface-layer proteins trigger an important receptor of the immune system, known as TLR4, which then instructs the immune system to destroy the bacterium and therefore provides protection for the human host.

‘This is a major step forward in the battle against this superbug, which provides us with a new understanding of how the immune system responds to Clostridium difficile in humans,’ said Dr Christine Loscher of Dublin City University, one of the study’s joint-leaders.

‘This is the vital information we need in order to design ways to help patients fight this infection.’

The other joint leader, Professor Dermot Kelleher of Trinity College Dublin, added: ‘Clostridium difficile is an increasingly important health problem and this new finding will help us to understand why certain patients get infected and also what novel therapeutic strategies might be important in boosting host immunity in susceptible individuals.’

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