Important toxin helps the cholera bacterium to survive


Picture: Sun Nyunt Wai (leading PI), Aftab Nadeem (first author) and Karina Persson (leading PI). Credit: Mattias Petterson.

Infection researchers at Umeå University have discovered that the cholera bacterium can produce a toxin that is considered particularly important for the bacterium in its natural environments and for survival in competition with other organisms. Knowledge about this toxin means that there is another tool that can be used in the fight against cholera and similar diseases. The study is published in PNAS.

Sun Nyunt Wai (professor at the Department of Molecular Biology, MIMS and UCMR affiliated researcher) and Karina Persson (associate professor at the Department of Chemistry and UCMR affiliated researcher), the primary investigators behind this project, believe that the results of this study will pave the way for Mak genes and proteins to be explored as new potential targets for new diagnostics and therapeutic strategies that are in high demand for various Vibrionaceae, ie pathogens that cause disease in both humans and fish.

This research has been conducted in collaboration with several UCMR affiliated research groups all contributing with their specific scientific expertise.

Original press release written by Ingrid Söderbergh is published in Swedish on the Umeå University website here:

Original scientific publication: Aftab Nadeem, Raghavendra Nagampalli, Eric Toh, Athar Alam, Si Lhyam Myint, Thomas V. Heidler, Mitesh Dongre, Nikola Zlatkov, Hudson Pace, Fouzia Bano, Anders Sjöstedt, Marta Bally, Bernt Eric Uhlin, Sun Nyunt Wai och Karina Persson: A tripartite cytolytic toxin formed by Vibrio cholerae proteins with flagellum-facilitated secretion. (2021) PNAS, 10.1073/pnas.2111418118