Issue Date: February 14, 2011
Lipid Cues Meningitis Bacteria’s Lethality
A bacterium behind meningitis and the blood infection septicemia resides in up to 30% of human throats, but it’s only when the germ cuts ties with throat colonies and moves to the brain or blood that it can become deadly. Scientists in France have now identified a chemical switch that makes this microbe go rogue (Science, DOI: 10.1126/science.1200729). Neisseria meningitidis attaches to throat tissue through hairlike protein appendages called pili, and the chemical . . .
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