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"Flesh-eating" bacteria can cause serious infections that can result in loss of limbs and even death. Now, a new study reveals just how the bacteria thrive deep in muscle tissue and cause such severe disease.
The study focused on bacteria called group A Streptococcus, the most common cause of "flesh-eating" disease. The researchers found that the bacteria's survival is aided, in large part, by special proteins called transporters, which help feed the microbes in muscle tissue. The findings might one day lead to better ways to treat and prevent the often-deadly disease, the researchers said.
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The study was published online Jan. 22 in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.
Infections - Group - A - Streptococcus - Death
Flesh-eating infections with group A Streptococcus are rare but deadly, causing death in up to one-third of patients who develop the disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
But exactly how group A Streptococcus causes flesh-eating disease on a molecular level isn't very well understood. So in the new study, the researchers set out to determine which genes in the bacteria's genome contribute most to the disease. The researchers used a technique that allowed them to deactivate the bacteria's genes one by one. They found that, out of the bacteria's 1,800 genes, 72 genes were...
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