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General Health Channel
Reported March 24, 2014

New Clues for How Bacterial Infections Cause Sepsis

(Ivanhoe Newswire) – A new study at the University of Leicester, UK, shows how localized bacterial infections from only a single bacterium can turn into dangerous sepsis.

For the study, Marco R. Oggioni and his colleagues injected mice with three different variants of Streptococcus pneumonia. Half of the mice developed sepsis, and in almost all cases the bacteria causing sepsis came from only one of the three variants. Their data also suggest the “founder bacterium” had no obvious advantage over the 999,999 others, and random events determine which of the injected bacteria survives and multiplies to cause disease. The scientists found a type of immune cell, called macrophages, that eats up bacteria are the main contributors to an efficient immune response. If bacteria survive that initial counter-attack by the host, a single founder bacterium multiplies and re-enters the bloodstream, thus causing sepsis.

“Although selective pressure generates diversity in bacterial populations during infection, invasive disease starts from a single founding cell which escapes initial immune clearance; a paradigm predicted to apply also to human systemic infections,” the researchers concluded.

For more information, go to: http://www.plospathogens.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.ppat.1004026

SOURCE: PLOS Pathogens, March 2014

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