Role of mucus in cystic fibrosis patients, a study reveals

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is an inherited disorder that primarily affects the lungs, digestive system, and other organs of the body. Usually, it damages the cell that produces mucus, sweat, gastric juices.

Function of mucus

Everyone may have suffered from a common cold and has resulted in wet or dry mucus. Although we feel troublesome, the role of mucus is more than what we think. The mucus traps all the inhaled dirt, bacteria, or even viruses, thereby preventing the infection.

However, in the case of CF patients, the mucus is much thick and sticky. This might pose a risk from developing infection and also for easy breathing.

The study

Scientists from the University of Pittsburgh analyzed the mucus properties of CF patients. They identified that it has got a role in developing the virulence of some strains of bacteria and also enhances antimicrobial resistance to drugs.

They examined nonmucoid (PANT) and mucoid (PASL) strains of P.aeruginosa, which commonly target lungs. The bacteria adapt to the host environment by mutating to PASL from PANT. As a result, this creates a film of mucus surrounding the bacteria, what we say as biofilms.

These biofilms are the major cause of treatment failure, especially in the case of bacterial infection. Also, it protects the bacteria from phagocytosis, which is the usual way of destruction by the immune system. The researchers used pendant drop elastometry to assess the transcriptional assays of the cells. It also compresses and expands the biofilm made by the cell.

These techniques will help us to investigate the mucolytic drugs that will probably break the biofilm. As antimicrobial resistance is emerging, we should do things effectively to make the ship flow in the right direction without submerging.

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Source: Medical Xpress

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