Immune response feeds parasite

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 typhimuriumImage: Wikimedia commons, Volker Brinkmann, Max Planck Institutefor Infection Biology, Berlin, Germany"It was a surprise," said microbiologist linkurl:Samuel Miller;http://depts.washington.edu/daid/faculty/miller.htm of the University of Washington, who was not involved in the resea

Jef Akst
Jef Akst

Jef Akst is managing editor of The Scientist, where she started as an intern in 2009 after receiving a master’s degree from Indiana University in April 2009 studying the mating behavior of seahorses.

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Sep 21, 2010
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;http://depts.washington.edu/daid/faculty/miller.htm 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;http://www.finlaylab.msl.ubc.ca/ 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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