Saturday 20 December 2014

Understanding how Pseudomonas aeruginosa infects

One of the world's most prolific bacteria, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, manages to afflict humans, animals and even plants by way of a mechanism not before seen in any infectious microorganism -- a sense of touch. Pseudomonas is the first pathogen found to initiate infection after merely attaching to the surface of a host.

The researchers found, however, that the bacteria could not infect another organism when a protein on their surface known as PilY1 was disabled.

To demonstrate the bacteria's wide-ranging lethality, Siryaporn infected ivy cells with the bacteria then introduced amoebas to the same sample; Pseudomonas immediately detected and quickly overwhelmed the single-celled animals.

For further details, see:

Siryaporn, S. L. Kuchma, G. A. O'Toole, Z. Gitai. Surface attachment induces Pseudomonas aeruginosa virulence. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2014; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1415712111

Posted by Tim Sandle

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