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Why bacteria ditch nose to go cause trouble

Scientists have identified triggers that turn Streptococcus pneumoniae from harmless colonizer to virulent pathogen.

The bacteria harmlessly colonize the mucous linings of throats and noses in most people, only becoming virulent when they leave those comfortable surroundings and enter the middle ears, lungs, or bloodstream.

“We were asking, what is the mechanism behind what makes us sick?” explains Anders P. Hakansson, assistant professor of microbiology and immunology in the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
 
 

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