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New Research Progress in Molecular Mechanism of Meningitis Induced by Streptococcus suis

Recently, a research paper “Binding of Fibronectin to SsPepO Facilitates the Development of Streptococcus suis Meningitis” by Prof Bei Weicheng and his team has been recently published online by The Journal of Infectious Diseases, a prestigious international journal in medicine-epidemiology. The first authors are doctoral candidate Liu Feng and Li Jinquan, an associate professor from College of Food Science and Technology and the corresponding author is Prof Bei from College of Animal Sciences & Technology & College of Veterinary Medicine.
Streptococcus suis serotype 2 (SS2) is an important emerging zoonotic pathogen that poses great threat to the global pig industry and human health. Its outbreaks that resulted in human cases of infection in Jiangsu Province in 1998 and in Sichuan Province in 2005 in China caused the world’s concern. The pathogen plagued Vietnam and other southeast Asian countries in 2007 and has become the No. 1 cause for Human meningeal encephalitis in Vietnam and No. 3 in Hong Kong. Excessive inflammation and meningitis induced by SS2 are the major reasons leading to toxic shock syndrome and high fatality rate.
Prof Bei and his team have for years set their research focus on SS2 diseases and immune mechanism. In this research, they first established the Mouse Model of SS2 Meningitis and then identified the molecular mechanism of specific binding of SS2 and Fibronectin to SsPepO, which through SsPepO-Fibronectin-integrin interaction significantly increases the blood-brain barrier penetration and the development of S. suis meningitis, thus giving a novel idea on pinpointing new therapeutic drug targets and controlling meningitis caused by S. suis and other bacteria.
The newly-published article was one of the achievements made by Prof Bei and his team, who have dedicated years of efforts to the studies of major animal pathogens, zoonotic pathogens and immune mechanism and yielded notable results in a series of publications in bacteriological and immunological fields. The studies were sponsored by National Natural Science Foundation of China and Outstanding Youth Science Foundation of Hubei Province.

Translated by Zhang Lei
Supervised by Zeng Wenhua