HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Scientists decipher genetic code of biothreat pathogen

Rockville, MD More than 2,400 years after Hippocrates first described the symptoms of glanders, scientists have deciphered the genetic code of the ancient pathogen that causes the horse disease: Burkholderia mallei.

The study found that B. mallei, a highly evolved pathogen that has been deployed in the past as a biological weapon, has an extremely regulated set of virulence genes and an unstable genome that may explain the bacterium's ability to thwart the immune responses of its host animals mainly horses, mules and donkeys.

"The combination of virulence genes and genomic instability may explain why some scientists consider this to be the ultimate bacterial pathogen," says William Nierman, the first author of the study, which is being published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

As part of the study, scientists used DNA microarrays to better understand the functions of B. mallei virulence genes. Nierman, an investigator at The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR), said the new study, along with a report on the related bacterium B. pseudomallei published in the same issue of PNAS, "has dramatically increased our understanding of the biology and pathogenicity of these very sophisticated pathogens."

Even though the symptoms of glanders have been known since the description by Hippocrates in 425 B.C., scientists have yet to develop a vaccine that is effective against this highly infectious equine disease. When humans are infected, treatment requires a long-term regimen of multiple antibiotics. A test developed by German scientists after B. mallei was isolated in 1882 greatly improved the early detection of the disease in horses. Glanders was eradicated in the United States by the 1930s.

Cultures of B. mallei were used as biological weapons during the U.S. Civil War, World War I and World War II. In addition, there have been reports that the Soviet Union weaponized the pathogen and possi
'"/>

Contact: Robert Koenig
rkoenig@tigr.org
301-795-7880
The Institute for Genomic Research
20-Sep-2004


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Scientists to prototype cyberinfrastructure for research and education access to ocean observatories
2. Scientists sequence genome of kind of organism central to biospheres carbon cycle
3. Scientists find nanowires capable of detecting individual viruses
4. Scientists discover potential new way to control drug-resistant bacteria
5. Scientists explore genome of methane-breathing microbe
6. Stuck on you: Scientists lay bare secrets of bacterial attachment proteins
7. Scientists discover proteins involved in spread of HIV-1 infection
8. Scientists fear new Ebola outbreak may explain sudden gorilla disappearance
9. Scientists reinvent DNA as template to produce organic molecules
10. Scientists visualise cellular handmaiden that restores shape to proteins
11. Scientists identify compounds that mimic calorie restriction

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:4/5/2017)... 2017 Today HYPR Corp. , leading ... component of the HYPR platform is officially FIDO® ... security architecture that empowers biometric authentication across Fortune 500 ... secured over 15 million users across the financial services ... home product suites and physical access represent a growing ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... , March 30, 2017 The research team ... for three-dimensional (3D) fingerprint identification by adopting ground breaking 3D fingerprint ... new realm of speed and accuracy for use in identification, crime ... affordable cost. ... A ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... , March 24, 2017 The Controller General of ... Mr. Abdulla Algeen have received the prestigious international IAIR Award ... Continue Reading ... ... and Deputy Controller Abdulla Algeen (small picture on the right) have received ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/16/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Today, 3Bar Biologics Inc ., the ... funding from an impressive group of investors, including Rev1 Ventures, Maumee Ventures, Ohio ... investment, 3Bar is broadening availability of its groundbreaking offering that uses naturally occurring ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... After spending the past two years building a state-of-the-art ... GeneFo now offers this platform to healthcare stakeholders (hospitals, foundations, biopharma ... and data collection vis a vis their members, under their own ... of this offer. ... ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Any expert in stem cell research or stem cell medicine ... half a century. Despite their essential roles in human health and regenerative medicine, ... tags developed for this purpose also tag other, more abundant, non-stem tissue cells ( ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... ... August 15, 2017 , ... JULABO USA introduces ... the new website makes it easy to navigate through the site whether you’re ... find detailed product information, educational industry content and visit the company’s social media ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: