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Two Strains Of Single Bacterium Combine To Cause Flesh-Consuming Infection

In late times, researchers have discovered that grave infections that resist treatment and develop rapidly are frequently caused by various microbes communicating with each other. Very little is recognized about these supposed polymicrobial infections, but conventional diagnostic techniques frequently misrecognize them as single-microbe, or monomicrobial, infections.

A new research by a group of researchers that comprised scientists from the University of Texas Medical Branch and the University of Maryland employed genetic scrutiny to disclose how 2 different strains of a solo species of flesh-consuming bacteria operated together to turn out to be more dangerous as compared to either one strain single-handedly. The research was posted this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“This study offers clear proof that a very severe infection believed to be led by a solo species of a bacterium (naturally occurring) actually contained two strains,” claimed Rita Colwell, co-author of the research. “One of the strains creates a toxin that fragments down muscle tissue and lets the other strain to infect the organs and travel into the blood system.”

The initial infection—refined from a patient who got the severe flesh-consuming disease dubbed as necrotizing fasciitis—was identified as a monomicrobial disease. Conventional diagnostics can only decide that the infection was led due to Aeromonas hydrophila (a solo species of bacteria). But the illness confused clinicians when it swiftly turned lethal, needing a quadruple amputation to save the life of the patient. Via genetic probe of the culture, Colwell and her group found significant differences amongst the separate bacterial cultures that cannot be identified via standard diagnostic techniques.

On a related note, a collaborative group of researchers has made a victorious proof-of-principle experiment of an enhanced HIV vaccine plan—a method that might also operate in defending users from a series of other lethal infectious diseases.

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