Salmonella species cause several forms of enteric fever like salmonellosis, typhoid fever, paratyphoid fever and pediatric bacteremia. Outbreaks are common on the Indian subcontinent. Several strains of the pathogen have shown resistance to a wide range of known antibiotics. Recent studies suggest that the multidrug-resistant H58 species originated in India and spread through Asia and Africa, areas previously considered free of the disease.
Recently, Priyanka Gawade and Payel Ghosh, from the Savitribai Phule Pune University, reported identifying potential therapeutic targets for Salmonella enterica.
The team investigated proteins from 28 different strains of the human pathogen. They employed an integrated genomics approach for identifying the pathogen’s proteins that share sequence-similarity with known essential genes from bacteria, important for its survival. Then, the sequence of these proteins was compared with human proteins and those from gut flora. Thus, the scientists identified essential pathogenic proteins not present in humans.
Then, the team filtered the data further to home in on those proteins that are required for virulence, pathogen-specific metabolic pathways and antibiotic resistance. They also incorporated several prioritization parameters for ranking the proteins. Based on experimental evidence, they identified six proteins as potential therapeutic targets.
This opens up opportunities for designing drugs that intervene into the functions of these proteins, and to overcome the threat posed by antibiotic resistant Salmonella species.
“The research was funded by the university to encourage research by newly inducted faculty members” says Payel Ghosh. She hopes to get opportunities take the research to its next stage.
Gene, 668: 211-220 (2018), DOI: 10.1016/j.gene.2018.05.058