A new study in mice using advanced imaging techniques for studying how H. pylori, present in about half of the people on earth, survive and thrive in the stomach.
Intestinal bacteria are one of the hottest topics in medical science today.
As soon as the researchers added to a surprisingly long list of conditions, which may be bacteria, it becomes increasingly important to understand how they cheat as medicines, and our immune system.
Helicobacter pylori - a bacterium has an incredible ability to colonize the human. In fact, it is estimated that she lives in the stomachs of about half of all people.
Most people bacterium is not harmful; however, in some cases, H. pylori can cause stomach cancer and peptic ulcer disease. One author writes:
"Approximately 75% of the global burden of cancer of the stomach and 5.5% of malignant tumors in the world are associated with inflammation and injury caused by H. pylori».
Secrets of H. pylori
Despite the prevalence and consequences of infection H. pylori, an understanding of how bacteria behave in our stomachs, it proved problematic.
Researchers, many of the Stanford University School of Medicine in California, recently conducted a series of studies to understand how H. pylori is so successful in the stomach. Scientists also hope to understand how these bacteria can be pushed out.
Using advanced visualization tools, scientists have identified a cache H. pylori. They recently published their findings in the journal PLOS Biology.
Pylori highly specialized for the colonization of the stomach, which is particularly inhospitable place to live - this is, in fact, a vat of hydrochloric acid. Despite this, the bacteria thrive and can maintain its position for decades.
In addition to the intense chemistry of the stomach, its cells can be replaced quickly, which is even more difficult to keep a foothold in the stomach.
Antibiotics can kill of H.pylori, but as a rule, they do not destroy the bacteria completely, and soon the population grows. Senior author Dr. Manuel amiidae, explains that "the newly emerging strain invariably coincides with the one that was considered eradicated."
This means that H. pylori somewhere, out of danger, hiding, the bacteria can be safely restored.
How to hide H. pylori
In H. pylori has a rotating flagella, which are long, whip-like, which allows the bacteria to move through the environment. Scientists believe that the bacterium uses this miniature outboard motors for tunneling in the gastric mucus layer.
Slimy layer protects gastric mucosa and, therefore, can also provide some protection against bacteria.
Scientists have found that this tactic is, of course, plays a role, but they also found another way in which bacteria defend themselves.
Researchers infected mice Two strains of H. pylori; one has been genetically modified to emit a fluorescent green light, the other - fluorescent red light. They also used a technique called the CLARITY, which allowed scientists to "go through" the intact tissue and create a three-dimensional image of where bacteria settled in the stomachs of mice.
Earlier research by the same group showed that H. pylori is hiding in the gastric glands, which are tiny holes in the wall of the stomach.
If a particularly hardy bacterium falls into one of these holes, and multiply, they become incredibly difficult to dislodge. Scientists could not determine exactly why they should take root, they believe that this may be because each iron has only one input, the diameter of which is only four times larger than H. pylori.
mapping the spread
The new study examined the way in which H. pylori spreads after he has reached the animal. Scientists expected that the two strains of bacteria (which are identical except for their color) and mixed population became both colors.
However, they found that as soon as the bacteria - red or green - opened the entrance to the gastric glands, it reduces the ability of other bacteria to penetrate. Thus, despite the fact that these bacteria were of the same strain of the same species, researchers have determined that they will surpass their own kind.
As soon as the red or green bacteria populate a gland and multiply, they will take a position in the neighboring glands; it created a patchwork pattern of red and green color on mouse gastric mucosa.
It is still unclear exactly how the bacterium seizes every hole and claims it as his own. However, in one of their experiments, the researchers used the bacteria, which have been designed so as not to have a chemical sensory mechanism, which they use for navigation; These bacteria can not create an entirely red or green colonies.
In the recent past probiotics used for getting rid of so-called harmful bacteria; but, as explained by Dr. amiidae: "It is not enough to find a good probiotic strain that can survive in the body where you want him to live. You need to create a place for him. "
For example, Dr. amiidae offers one approach: to rid the bacteria from their hiding places, and then replace them less virulent bacterium.
This study gives a clearer picture of how H. pylori accumulates in our stomachs. We hope that in the future this information may help us find a way to remove it.