Volume 95 Issue 12 | p. 9 | Concentrates
Issue Date: March 20, 2017

Inflammation encourages spread of bacterial viruses

Process aids pathogen evolution by enabling transfer of virulence factors between bacterial strains
Department: Science & Technology
News Channels: Biological SCENE
Keywords: infectious disease, bacteriophage, virus, inflammation, vaccines

Pathogenic bacteria sometimes wreak havoc thanks to viral invaders called bacteriophages. Some phages infect bacteria and incorporate their DNA, as well as genes for toxins and other virulence factors, into the genomes of the microbes. In fact, the genes for the cholera toxin came from a phage that infected the ancestor of Vibrio cholerae. Such phages lie dormant and then reawaken and burst out of bacteria to infect other bacteria . . .

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