Bestselling Basic Medical Science in 2020
Basic Medical Sciences for MRCP Part 1
- Churchill Livingstone
Human Body: An Illustrated Guide to Every Part of the Human Body and How It Works
- DK Publishing Dorling Kindersley
Marks' Basic Medical Biochemistry: A Clinical Approach
Medical Epidemiology: Population Health and Effective Health Care, Fifth Edition (LANGE Basic Science)
Basic Medical Sciences for MRCP: Part 1
Marks' Basic Medical Biochemistry (Lieberman, Marks's Basic Medical Biochemistry)
- Used Book in Good Condition
Basic and Clinical Pharmacology 12/E (LANGE Basic Science)
First Aid for the Basic Sciences: General Principles, Third Edition (First Aid Series)
- McGraw-Hill Education Medical
Atlas of Human Anatomy: Including Student Consult Interactive Ancillaries and Guides (Netter Basic Science)
Netter's Anatomy Flash Cards (Netter Basic Science)
Statins Shown to Potential Prevent Serious Bacterial Infections in Sickle Cell Patients
This article addresses a new basic research study, which showed that statins may potential help to prevent serious bacterial infections in patients with sickle cell disease. I will review the research study and findings.
Researchers studied a mouse model with sickle cell disease who were purposefully infected with serious bacteria such as pneumoccocus and streptococcus group A, the mice were also given statins and compared to mice not given statins. They found that the mice treated with statins had a prolonged lifespan and also less bacteria in their blood and lungs. The researchers suggested that the statins may play a role in preventing the future spread of the infection and that the statins did not cure the mice, but prolonged their life long enough to allow for medications the time needed to kill the bacteria.
Sickle cell patients are such high risk for certain bacterial infections because their disease eventually destroys the spleen, which helps fight certain bacteria, such as streptococcus and pneumoccocus. These infections in sickle cell patients is so deadly that they require a daily dose of penicillin as a precautionary measure.
The researchers were able to identify the exact mechanisms by how the statins prevented the spread of the bacteria, which included the dampening of the expression of a protein called platelet activating factor receptor (PAFr). PAFr is found on cells that are increased in expression in patients with an inflammatory states such as sickle cell anemia. Bacteria such as pneumococcus use these receptors to gain access to the cell that they eventually destroy. Statins seem to decrease the expression of these PAFr receptor.
Although many may think this is an unlikely use of statins, the actually theory behind this study is quite biologically plausible because these bacteria rely on cholesterol in the cell membrane to attach to the cell and form an opening called a pore to gain entry into the cell and ultimately destroy it. We know statins prevent cholesterol buildup in the coronary arteries, thus if they decrease the amount of cholesterol in the cell wall, it is likely that less bacteria can enter the cell.
In conclusion, I am excited and intrigued by these findings and look forward to hearing more about ways to prevent the spread of infection in sickle cell patients in the near future.