Research uncovers potential preventive for central line infection

A team of researchers at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center has developed an antibody that could prevent Candida infections that often afflict hospitalized patients who receive central lines.

Margaret Hostetter, MD, director of infectious diseases at Cincinnati Children's, and her team developed the antibody, which prevents Candida albicans from binding to heparin, thereby stopping the formation of in a rat model of catheter-associated infection. A biofilm is a multi-layered buildup of millions of microorganisms that coat the inside of the catheter

The study was published online in July in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.

Earlier research by Hostetter's team showed that heparin binds to Candida albicans, a yeast that resides on our skin and in our . Candida uses its ability to bind heparin to elude the body's immune response and to form biofilms. When biofilms form on the inside of catheters, groups of microorganisms can break off into the bloodstream and cause serious infections.

"Standard anticoagulants used in catheters may facilitate biofilm formation by microbes," says Dr. Hostetter. "Understanding this process can lead to new strategies for prevention of line infections."

In hospitalized patients with , Candida albicans may gain entrance to the body and form a biofilm in a central venous catheter. When a biofilm disperses, the yeast will enter the bloodstream and may be carried to other organs, such as the kidneys, the liver, or the spleen.

When the antibody is modified to be compatible with humans, clinical trials of the treatment can begin in humans, says Dr. Hostetter.

Collaborators on the study included researchers from Duke University Medical Center, the University of Cincinnati and the University of Wisconsin.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Fighting fungal infections with bacteria

May 01, 2010

A bacterial pathogen can communicate with yeast to block the development of drug-resistant yeast infections, say Irish scientists writing in the May issue of Microbiology. The research could be a step toward ...

Research identifies how mouth cells resist Candida infection

Sep 02, 2013

Candida albicans is a common fungus found living in, and on, many parts of the human body. Usually this species causes no harm to humans unless it can breach the body's immune defences, where can lead to serious illness or dea ...

New compound prevents first steps of fungal infection

Aug 13, 2013

Targeting serious and sometimes deadly fungal infections, a team of researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) and the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) has discovered a chemical ...

Recommended for you

Test shows Spain nursing assistant clear of Ebola

6 hours ago

A Spanish nursing assistant appears to have recovered from the Ebola virus, authorities said Sunday, nearly two weeks after she became the first person infected outside West Africa in the current outbreak.

Nigeria expected to be declared Ebola-free

17 hours ago

Nigeria is expected to be declared Ebola-free on Monday, just three months after fears that the virus could spread like wildfire through Africa's most populous nation.

User comments