HOME ABOUT CONTACT AVAILABLE ISSUES SUBSCRIBE MEDIA & ADS
LATEST UPDATES » Vol 26, Nos. 11 & 12, November & December 2022 – Worlds Within Worlds – Viruses, Humanity, and the Environment       » Pinpointing How This Key Protein Facilitates Viral Transmission From Insects to Plants       » A New Approach to Treating Organic Wastewater       » Using Old Plants for New Tricks?       » Using Gas Bubbles as Lenses to View Tissues More Deeply       » Seawater as a Renewable Energy Source       » Generating Oxygen Within Cells
Vol 26, Nos. 11 & 12, November & December 2022   |   Issue PDF view/purchase
BIOBOARD
Harmless No More? Bacteria Prevalent in Respiratory Tract Identified as Key Factor in the Worsening of Lung Disease
In a breakthrough by an international team of researchers, with researchers from Nanyang Technological University’s Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine in the lead, Neisseria subflava has been identified as the key factor behind the worsening of bronchiectasis, and may also cause infections with pre-existing asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Nanyang Technological University’s Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine has found that the Neisseria genus of bacteria is more harmful than expected, and is responsible for infections in patients with pre-existing conditions like asthma, bronchiectasis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Their findings were published in Cell Host & Microbe.

The team found conclusive evidence that Neisseria bacteria can cause lung disease and can worsen pre-existing bronchiectasis (another type of lung disease). Previously, this species has only been acknowledged as the cause behind gonorrhoea, a common sexually transmitted infection (STI), as well as meningitis, the inflammation of the protective membranes around the brain and spinal cord.

Bronchiectasis is a chronic disease in which a patient’s airways become abnormally enlarged. The cause of this condition remains largely unknown for up to half of Singaporean patients. It is more prevalent among Asians and may also occur during recovery from tuberculosis. It occurs in 10.6 out of 100,000 people and its risk increases with age, often arising out of the blue.

To figure out why bronchiectasis worsens at a faster rate in older Asians, the international team of researchers compared and analysed disease and infection data on bronchiectasis from Asian patients with data from their European counterparts. Through their intensive efforts, they found that Neisseria bacteria was predominantly found in the microbiome of Asian patients that experienced the worsening of their bronchiectasis.

In particular, the species of bacteria present in worsening cases of bronchiectasis, as well as exacerbations (repeat cases), was identified to be Neisseria subflava (N. subflava). Before this, N. subflava had not been linked to lung infections and was only known for its prevalence in the oral mucosa, throat, and upper airways of humans.

After further tests, the scientists confirmed that N. subflava is responsible for cell disruption, causing inflammation and immune dysfunction in bronchiectasis patients afflicted by it.

This is the first time that Neisseria has been determined to be a factor behind lung infection and worsening of disease in bronchiectasis patients.

The lead investigator, Associate Professor Sanjay Chotirmall of NTU’s Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, reflected on the importance of his team’s discovery for the treatment of bronchiectasis patients, saying that it opens more avenues for personalised therapy of patients with consistently worsening bronchiectasis symptoms, for greater rates of recovery.

Moving forward, the researchers are considering conducting further studies and clinical trials for therapies that allow for the elimination of Neisseria from the microbiome. They seek to develop a treatment plan to target Neisseria with antibiotics upon its identification and hope that such a treatment will improve lung infection patient outcomes.


Source: Li et al. (2022). Neisseria species as pathobionts in bronchiectasis. Cell Host & Microbe, 30(9), 1311-1327.

NEWS CRUNCH  
news analytica Vietnam Exhibition Returns to Reunite the Industry After Its 4-Year Hiatus
news 2022 PDA Aseptic Processing of Biopharmaceuticals Conference
news Thailand LAB INTERNATIONAL, Bio Asia Pacific, and FutureCHEM INTERNATIONAL are ready to offer the Science and Technology Industry complete solutions this September!
news Better together: registration opens for Vitafoods Asia 2022 co-located with Fi Asia in October
SPOTLIGHT  

MAGAZINE TAGS
About Us
Events
Available issues
Editorial Board
Letters to Editor
Contribute to APBN
Advertise with Us
CONTACT
World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd.
5 Toh Tuck Link, Singapore 596224
Tel: 65-6466-5775
Fax: 65-6467-7667
» For Editorial Enquiries:
   [email protected] or Ms Carmen Chan
» For Subscriptions, Advertisements &
   Media Partnerships Enquiries:
   [email protected]
Copyright© 2022 World Scientific Publishing Co Pte Ltd  •  Privacy Policy