Meet Professor Marc Pellegrini – Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research Victoria
Eradicating Life-Threatening Infections in People with Cystic Fibrosis.
Project Duration – 6 months
Funded by The Lottery Office
This is the second Cure4CF funded project stemming from research partner Professor Marc Pellegrini.
Building on an established platform Marc and his team at WEHI are developing to eradicate a group of sinister bacteria called Burkholderia cepacia (learn more about this project in our Current Research Projects), this research project will investigate if they can impact another cystic fibrosis related bacterial infection called Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
These bacteria do not hide within cells but rather they form slimy films on the lining of infected lungs. One of our immune cells called neutrophils tries to eat the Pseudomonas bacteria and kill them, but this often fails and instead the neutrophils spill out their contents, including a lot of toxic proteins. In turn, this makes lung secretions more viscous and adds a further protective layer to the bacterial film.
‘We have been researching a drug that is different to the one we’re developing to eradicate Burkholderia cepacia, this new drug will preferentially kill neutrophils, especially those that are in the process of eating bacteria. When the drug kills the neutrophil it also kills the Pseudomonas bacteria, and it stops the neutrophil from spilling its toxic contents.’ says Marc.
A bacterial infection such as Pseudonmas aeruginosa is of particular concern for people who have suppressed immunity and this exciting research will have important implications for people living with cystic fibrosis.
To find out more about this project, view the video below to see Cure4CF Community Ambassador Kristy Thomas speak with Marc about his latest game changing cystic fibrosis research.
If you would like to support excellent Australian Research like this, please contact Cure4CF Executive Manager Suzy Dimaline to find out how.