Bacterial Population Genetics and Disease

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Science  06 Apr 2001:
Vol. 292, Issue 5514, pp. 59-60
DOI: 10.1126/science.1060498

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Why is it that most strains of Staphylococcal aureus bacteria live harmlessly on the skin or in the nose of humans whereas a few strains become invasive and cause serious disease? In his Perspective, Lipsitch discusses new findings ( Day et al.) suggesting that the very characteristics that make bacteria efficient at colonizing their hosts also render them better at invading host tissue and causing disease.