Natural lipid acts as potent anti-inflammatory


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Natural lipid acts as potent anti-inflammatory

Scientists see therapeutic potential against bacteria, viruses.

  • Researchers have identified a naturally occurring lipid – a waxy, fatty acid – used by a disease-causing bacterium to impair the host immune response and increase the chance of infection. Inadvertently, they also may have found a potent inflammation therapy against bacterial and viral diseases.

  • Lipids are known to help Francisella tularensis bacteria, the cause of tularemia, to suppress host inflammation when infecting mouse and human cells.

  • Researchers found a form of the lipid phosphatidylethanoloamine, or PE, present in the bacterium.

  • The composition of PE found in F. tularensis differs from PE found in other bacteria.

  • In cell-culture experiments, the researchers discovered that the natural and a synthetic form of PE reduced inflammation caused by both tularemia bacteria and dengue fever virus.


    Robin Ireland, Benjamin Schwarz, Glenn Nardone, Tara D. Wehrly, Corey D. Broeckling, Abhilash I. Chiramel, Sonja M. Best, Catharine M. Bosio. Unique Francisella Phosphatidylethanolamine Acts as a Potent Anti-Inflammatory Lipid. Journal of Innate Immunity, 2018; 1 DOI: 10.1159/000489504