Research uncovers potential preventive for central line infection

September 11, 2013

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.

Explore further: Research identifies how mouth cells resist Candida infection

Related Stories

Research identifies how mouth cells resist Candida infection

September 2, 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 ...

Recommended for you

Researchers discover rare flu-thwarting mutation

September 29, 2016

A rare and improbable mutation in a protein encoded by an influenza virus renders the virus defenseless against the body's immune system. This University of Rochester Medical Center discovery could provide a new strategy ...

Utah man may have contracted Zika from dying father's tears

September 29, 2016

A Utah man who mysteriously contracted Zika from his infected father may have got it by touching his dad's tears or sweat with his bare hands, according to new research unveiled Wednesday that found the unusual transmission ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.