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Bacterial Predators Feast on “Superbugs”

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Scientists are turning to predatory bacteria to defeat drug-resistant infections. Microbiologists led by Daniel Kadouri, now at Rutgers University, lately have focused on two such predators—Micavibrio aeruginosavorus, which latches onto a germ and sucks out its innards, and Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus, which burrows into and parasitically reproduces within its prey. Kadouri's group previously showed that both species could kill dangerous microbes, but the predators had not been conclusively tested on drug-resistant strains. Thus, the team decided to unleash each species onto cell cultures of 14 drug-resistant varieties of bacteria commonly found in hospitals, then observed as the hunters wiped out large numbers of the pathogens. The results appeared online May 1 in the journal PLOS ONE.

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