Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Secretoglobin SCGB1D2 found in human sweat may protect against those affected by Lyme's Disease

     Lyme's disease affects more than 500,000 people a year, the disease is carried by mice, deer, and other animals and is transmitted by ticks. The disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia Burgdorferi, which can cause symptoms like fatigue, body aches, fever, and other symptoms that can usually be cleared up but, for others, these symptoms may linger for years. Michal Caspi Tal and Hanna Ollila, researchers at MIT, ran a genome-wide association study (GWAS) with included genome sequences for 410,000 people, 7,000 of them having Lyme's disease. The article described how the GWAS revealed how the secretoglobin, a family of proteins that play a role in immune responses to infection, SCGB1D2 (mainly produced by sweat glands) may be linked to the disease. Mice injected with borrelia burgdorferi exposed to a mutant version of the protein fell victim to the disease however, mice injected with borrelia burgdorferi exposed to the normal version of the protein showed no signs or symptoms of the disease. Though researchers are not sure how the protein inhibits bacterial growth, they found that the mutated version causes a shift from the amino acid proline to leucine. 

    I found the research that was done to be potentially life changing for many people. So many people suffer from Lyme's disease and is very common around woody areas, like the pinelands. The potential that has risen from these findings, as talked about in the article, could eventually be used to make protective creams, or new medicines for people whose symptoms are still around, even after antibiotics. The new information could also potentially be applied to dogs, another species commonly affected by the bacterium. I think it's amazing what could be found using huge genome databases. 

Article: A Protein found in human sweat may protect against Lyme disease

Reference: SCGB1D2 inhibits growth of Borrelia burgdorferi and affect susceptibility to Lyme disease

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