News FocusMicrobiology

Simple Hosts May Help Reveal How Bacteria Infect Cells

Science  22 Dec 2000:
Vol. 290, Issue 5500, pp. 2245-2247
DOI: 10.1126/science.290.5500.2245

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Important human pathogens invade and harm simple organisms. What's more, these infections require many of the same bacterial genes needed to make mammals sick. These observations suggest that even though simple organisms aren't perfect models for complex hosts such as mammals, the basic mechanisms by which bacteria establish infections in the various organisms may be similar. As a result, the work may help microbiologists identify the host proteins involved in infections, thereby providing potential new targets for antibacterial drugs.