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Decoding E. Coli and Cholera

Scientists from Queen Mary, University of London have discovered the workings behind some of the bacteria that kill hundreds of thousands every year, possibly paving the way for new antibiotics that could treat infections more effectively.

With antibiotic resistance on the rise in strains of pathogenic bacteria, innovative strategies are needed to discover ways of treating bacterial infections in both humans and in agriculture.

Writing in the journal PLoS Pathogens, the team from Queen Mary’s School of Biological and Chemical Sciences show how they studied the molecular machine known as the ‘type II bacterial secretion system’, which is responsible for delivering potent toxins from bacteria such as enterotoxigenic E. coli and Vibrio cholerae into an infected individual.

Professor Richard Pickersgill, who led the research, said: “Bacterial secretion systems deliver disease causing toxins into host tissue. If we can understand how these machines work, then we can work out how it they might be stopped.”
 
 

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