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Identification Of “Hyper-Virulent” Foodborne Bacteria Is First Step In Battling Them

April 18, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
U.S. researchers have discovered “hyper-virulent” Salmonella bacteria that can override vaccines and could pose a severe risk to food safety. The newly discovered bacterial are as much as 100 times more capable of causing foodborne illnesses. According to the researchers, the bacteria act like a “Trojan Horse,” looking a lot like their less virulent relatives but proving to be deadlier when causing disease. The scientists now know what to look for and are developing ways to tell them from their less-virulent cousins. So far they have been able to force the bacteria to reveal their weapons in the laboratory, and that’s a first step toward combating them.
Douglas M. Heithoff et al., "Intraspecies Variation in the Emergence of Hyperinfectious Bacterial Strains in Nature", PLoS Pathogens, April 18, 2012, © Mahan et al.
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