News of the WeekMicrobiology

Fighting Bacterial Fire With Bacterial Fire

+ See all authors and affiliations

Science  22 Dec 2000:
Vol. 290, Issue 5500, pp. 2231-2233
DOI: 10.1126/science.290.5500.2231a

You are currently viewing the summary.

View Full Text


Work presented last week at the annual meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology in San Francisco suggests that applying a harmless bacterium or its products to surgical wounds may thwart infections by the dangerous pathogen Staphylococcus aureus, a major cause of hospital-acquired infections. Although physicians have previously pitted one bacterium against another to prevent infections of the intestinal and genitourinary tracts, this is the first attempt to use a friendly microbe to prevent infection of surgical wounds, say experts. The findings also point to a possible mechanism for this "bacterial interference." They suggest that a protein secreted by the harmless bacterium prevents the pathogen from getting a foothold in injured tissue.

Related Content