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Hunted: Vibrio cholerae is followed by a bacteriophage

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You are an ecosystem. Think of your body as a microscopic Serengeti – a wild place where the strong prey upon the weak and “survival of the fittest” is the law of the land. To a microbe, the human body is just another place they try to eke out a living, pinched between prey and predator.

So it shouldn’t be surprising that a study coming out in mBio this week found that when patients in Bangladesh contract cholera, they not only play host to Vibrio cholerae bacteria. Bacteriophages that prey upon V. cholerae also come along for the ride. Looking at samples from numerous patients over a 10 year period, they found one phage of V. cholerae that turned up in every single sample. So while the bacteria are laying waste to their human host, they were also being chased from behind by a phage.
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