Salmonella is able to out compete resident gut microbes by deriving energy from the immune response that is supposed to combat the pathogen, according to a study published this week in Nature.
Salmonella typhimurium
Image: Wikimedia commons,
Volker Brinkmann, Max Planck Institute
for Infection Biology, Berlin, Germany
"It was a surprise," said microbiologist linkurl:Samuel Miller; of the University of Washington, who was not involved in the research. "[Salmonella] is using [the host immune response] to its own advantage." It's an "interesting story," added linkurl:Brett Finlay; of the University of British Columbia, who also did not participate in the study, in an email -- "a real twist on pathogenic mechanisms." Salmonella enterica (specifically, serotype Typhimurium) is a gut parasite known to cause diarrhea and intestinal inflammation. The inflammatory response is part of a multipronged host immune response aimed at eliminating the bacteria, but recent studies have suggested that...
SalmonellaSalmonellaSalmonellaSalmonellaSalmonellaSalmonellaSalmonellaSalmonellaSalmonellaSalmonellaSalmonellaSalmonellaNatureS.E. Winter, "Gut inflammation provides a respiratory electron acceptor for Salmonella," Nature, 467: 426-9. 2010.

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