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View the Battlefield, Bacteria Vs. Immune System

19 July, 2012 | CT Scanner, imaging equipment, medical equipment, News

Antibiotic resistance is a serious issue affecting worldwide Medical Health today. Bacterial illnesses like pneumonia, diarrhea and meningitis are responsible for millions of deaths and the reappearance of older pathogens like tuberculosis concern medical professionals who are finding infections more and more resistant to traditional forms of antibiotics.

In response to this problem the MRC (Medical Research Center) has established the world’s first center for the study against bacterial infection located at the Imperial College London and led by Professor Gad Frankel. The ethos of the center will be to use the latest in technology to gain new insights in bacterial resistance and develop superior ways of combating disease and advancing Pathology.

In an experiment made possible by state of the art imaging technology, the center adapted a CT Scanner to visualize light generated by bacteria inside a mouse over the 11 day duration of a bacterial infection. The results of which astounded researches; never before had they actually seen live how bacteria behaved, developed and adapted to its host body until eventually it was subdued by the mouse’s immune system. Further to presenting bacterial cells, the imaging equipment could also be set to illustrate in great detail the different immune system cell types created to combat the bacterial invasion.

According to Professor Frankel, the use of imaging technology represents a revolution in how researchers study bacteria and develop treatment. By broadcasting live what happens inside the body, imaging can be used as an effective diagnostic tool through which to test possible treatments and watch for the best desired outcome; eliminating pathogen without leaving cells behind to develop resistance, something not possible until now.
Although the group’s work is yet in its infancy with researchers only just scratching the surface of the potential for this new diagnostic approach, the hope is that the fresh insights gleamed by watching the drama unfold live will indeed provide researchers with new tools to understand and solve bacterial resistance.