Latest study published in nature microbiology illustrates fondness of typhoid toxin for sugar expressing cells
Typhoid is an infection caused by bacteria called Salmonella typhi which grows in intestine and blood. This infectious bacteria has been around for centuries. Its molecular mechanism is still not known. They produce a toxin called typhoid toxin which is responsible for the symptoms of disease typhoid. Typhoid toxin is also known as AB toxin which is responsible which consist of two subunits i.e A and B. A is active toxin while B causes endocytosis by binding to the cell surface.
The current vaccine which is given for typhoid fever i.e. Ty21a is not effective against typhoid toxin. It is effective only for Salmonella typhi.
This study was published nature microbiology illustrates that toxin solely damages selected cell at the organism level. This toxin is particularly looking for cells that express specific sugar because of their binding abilities. This means that this toxin is sweet smelling and whenever it finds those cells, it intoxicates them. this intoxication of sugar expressing cell leads to triggering of symptoms like the decrease in number white blood cell, sloth, discomfort, fainting and neurological complications.
According to an author of this study, Jeongmin Song, assistant professor of microbiology and immunology “the most exciting thing about the study is that the results provide understandings that may help in the development of potential medications and therapeutics.”
In the light of this study, new sugar-based therapeutics can be developed which could help in increasing antibiotic resistance. This sugar-based therapeutics could play crucial roles in the treatment of other diseases also. The vaccine Ty21a shows more effect on toxin when conjugated with it is combined with conjugated vaccine leveraging the toxin rather than when the vaccine is used alone.
Researchers also discovered that when mice are immunized with an inactive toxin, it showed no symptoms when treated with the lethal dose of typhoid toxin. This study shows that the typhoid toxin attack both immune system as well as a central nervous system which means that toxin once secreted does not limit itself to only sugar producing cell. This characterizes a new pattern in infectious agents.