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Salmonella gooses the human host to boost its own fitness

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A gene Salmonella got from a virus apparently enables it to tweak the human gut to get what it needs to outcompete its neighbors, according to the latest study published in mBio this week.
A multi-drug resistant strain of Salmonella that caused an outbreak among both humans and cattle in the 1980's carried a gene called sopE. sopE is not your average Salmonella gene: it's a virulence factor the bacterium acquired from a phage. Overall, sopE is present in only a small fraction of Salmonella isolates, but it was all over the human-and-cattle-epidemic strain like white on rice. It's an effector protein of the invasion-associated type III secretion system and it's a potent inducer of inflammation in the intestine, but what sort of advantage does it offer to Salmonella that made it so successful in this outbreak? What does sopE do, exactly? Figuring this out could help control outbreaks in the future (and rest assured there are plenty of Salmonella outbreaks in our future).
Click on the source link above to read more on mBio's blog, mBiosphere.
 
 

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