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Salmonella and self-sacrifice

26.05.2009
How diarrhoea pathogens multiply in our intestines

Our large intestines are heavily populated by bacteria and as such really do not have space for newcomers.

Despite this, Salmonella are able to multiply there. In a project funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation, a group led by Wolf-Dietrich Hardt from ETH Zurich is uncovering the remarkable strategies used by the feared diarrhoea pathogens.

A small number of the Salmonella sacrifice themselves by attacking the intestinal cells. Although this kills them, they succeed in causing inflammation.

The inflamed intestine excretes mucus, which ultimately accelerates the growth of the remaining salmonella in the intestine. Thus the bacteria benefit from the death of their sister cells.

Prof. Wolf-Dietrich Hardt
Institute of Microbiology
Department of Biology, ETH Zurich
ETH Hönggerberg, HCI G 417
Wolfgang-Pauli Str. 10
CH-8093 Zurich
E-mail: hardt@micro.biol.ethz.ch
Tel.: +41 44 632 51 43
Fax: +41 44 632 11 29

| idw
Further information:
http://www.micro.biol.ethz.ch
http://www.snf.ch

Further reports about: Salmonella bacteria diarrhoea pathogens

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