The "Alien DNA" of Virulence Genes

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Science  31 May 1996:
Vol. 272, Issue 5266, pp. 1262
DOI: 10.1126/science.272.5266.1262


Bacteria do a brisk trade in useful genes, swapping bits of DNA among themselves like baseball cards, and the recently discovered type III secretion genes are clearly foreign to the pathogens now using them. Researchers are still seeking the original source of these “alien” virulence genes.