|Incidence of Brucella infections in animals during the first half |
of 2006 (green-never reported; blue-not reported in this
period; brown-confirmed clinical disease; red-confirmed
infection; grey- no information
The paper reports that the scientists identified the cells that harbour B. abortus during persistent infection as a recently identified immune cell known as alternatively activated macrophages (AAMs). They also found that the metabolism of the AAMs is altered such that the B. abortus is supplied with glucose that allow for the survival of the bacteria and the resulting chronic infection.
This alteration in metabolism is induced by peroxisome proliferator activated receptor (PPAR). PPAR now represents a target that can be inhibited thus starving the bacteria. As proof of principle the paper reports that treatment with a PPAR inhibitor significantly reduced AAMs and B. abortus in infected mice while treatment with a PPAR activator increased bacteria.