Infectious Disease

Toxic tenant promotes bad bugs

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Science  11 Mar 2016:
Vol. 351, Issue 6278, pp. 1162-1163
DOI: 10.1126/science.351.6278.1162-i

There are many benefits to a good roommate, but the wrong choice can be toxic. Cohen et al. found that alpha toxin produced by Staphylococcus aureus worsened lung co-infection by Gram-negative bacteria. The alpha toxin prevented acidification of bacteria-containing phagosomes, thus increasing bacterial proliferation, spread, and lethality. However, early treatment or prophylaxis with a neutralizing antibody to alpha toxin prevented this effect and promoted S. aureus clearance in a humanized mouse model.

Sci. Transl. Med. 8, 329ra31 (2016).

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