Creating a free account will enable you to subscribe to our daily and weekly email newsletters, as well as customize your reading experience to show only the categories most relevant to you.
Signing up only take a few minutes, so why not give it a try and see what you've been missing out on.
Researchers studying Chlamydia trachomatis bacteria, which cause the sexually transmitted infection chlamydia as well as infectious blindness, have confirmed that the bacteria contain - and, in fact, cannot function without - the common molecule peptidoglycan, a structural component found in the cell wall of many bacteria. This finding puts an end to years of uncertainty about whether Chlamydia bacteria, like almost all bacterial species, rely on peptidoglycan to reproduce and to maintain their shape and structure. In addition, the novel method the investigators used may be adapted to further examine the molecule's role in the structure and function of other bacteria.
Scientists had long known that Chlamydia infections could be treated with antibiotics that block peptidoglycan synthesis, but previous attempts to detect the molecule in the bacteria were unsuccessful - an apparent paradox known as the "chlamydial anomaly." In the new study, researchers at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and Indiana University modified certain amino acids, the building blocks of peptidoglycan, by labeling them with chemicals that can be detected using a fluorescent dye. When fed to growing Chlamydia bacteria, the modified amino acids glowed as they were incorporated into peptidoglycan, indicating the regions where the molecule was being produced and confirming its presence.
In addition to helping resolve the chlamydial anomaly, this method can be used to examine other aspects of peptidoglycan production in Chlamydia bacteria. This technique may also be adapted to enhance visualization of peptidoglycan in other bacterial species, the study authors write.
The work, published in Nature, was supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, both of the National Institutes of Health.
Liechti GW et al. A new metabolic cell-wall labeling method reveals peptidoglycan in Chlamydia trachomatis. Nature DOI: 10.1038/nature12892 (2013).
Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release. Click 'references' tab above for source.
Visit our Sexual Health / STDs category page for the latest news on this subject.
Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious D. "Using novel method, study resolves 50-year 'chlamydial anomaly'." Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 15 Dec. 2013. Web.
11 Mar. 2014. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/270075>
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious D. (2013, December 15). "Using novel method, study resolves 50-year 'chlamydial anomaly'." Medical News Today. Retrieved from
Please note: If no author information is provided, the source is cited instead.
If you write about specific medications, operations, or procedures please do not name healthcare professionals by name.
For any corrections of factual information, or to contact our editorial team, please use our feedback form. Please send any medical news or health news press releases to:
Note: Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a health care professional. For more information, please read our terms and conditions.
This page was printed from: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/270075.php
Visit www.medicalnewstoday.com for medical news and health news headlines posted throughout the day, every day.
© 2004-2014 All rights reserved. MNT (logo) is the registered trade mark of MediLexicon International Limited.