Utilisation of the human plasminogen activation system by group A streptococci: contribution to virulence and disease [ 2004 - 2006 ]

Also known as: Hijacking of human protease by group A streptococci, the flesh eating bacterium

Research Grant

[Cite as]

Researchers: Prof Mark Walker (Principal investigator) ,  Prof Marie Ranson

Brief description Streptococcus pyogenes (group A streptococci; GAS) is a bacterium which causes human skin and throat infections as well as highly invasive diseases including the flesh eating disease necrotising fasciitis. Additionally, serious sequelae, including rheumatic fever and acute glomeulonephritis, may result following infection. Such diseases cause high morbidity and mortality in Aboriginal populations and are a continual significant drain on the national health fund. An important mode of invasion by GAS may be related to their ability to capture and activate host plasminogen via surface-associated or secreted plasminogen binding proteins (receptors). Plasminogen can be activated by host activators or secreted GAS streptokinase to the potent enzyme plasmin which is responsible for the degradation of tissue barriers. Thus, GAS may utilise plasmin to destroy tissue barriers and invade host tissues. The characterisation of the interaction between GAS and the plasminogen activation system would clarify the role of this system in invasive disease and provide potential targets for therapeutic intervention.

Funding Amount $AUD 254,250.00

Funding Scheme NHMRC Project Grants

Notes Standard Project Grant

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