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Mouth bacteria could kill, say scientists

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A type of bacteria found in the mouth has the potential to cause serious illness - even death - if it enters the bloodstream through bleeding gums or mouth ulcers.

The Daily Mail reports that scientists have recently identified the bacteria, called Streptococcus tigurinus, and are now trying to establish how common it is and how much of a risk it poses to public health.

Researchers from the University of Zurich in Switzerland isolated the bacterium from the blood of patients suffering from serious conditions including inflammation of the heart (endocarditis), meningitis and inflammation of the spine (spondylodiscitis).

They have found that it is similar to other strains of Streptococcus that are found in the mouth and they are now trying to discover how it spreads.
 
 

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