News of the WeekInfectious Disease

Cholera Strengthened by Trip Through Gut

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Science  07 Jun 2002:
Vol. 296, Issue 5574, pp. 1783-1784
DOI: 10.1126/science.296.5574.1783a

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Microbiologists have discovered that the human gut seems to prime the bacteria responsible for cholera. Before Vibrio cholerae exit the body in watery stools, something about the intestinal environment causes them to rev up the activity of certain genes. These genes, in turn, seem to prepare them for ever more effective colonization of their next victims, possibly fueling epidemics, they report in the 6 June issue of Nature.