Skip to comments.Fighting Fire With Fire: 'Vampire' Bacteria Has Potential as Living Antibiotic
Posted on 10/31/2011 6:03:48 PM PDT by decimon
A vampire-like bacteria that leeches onto specific other bacteria including certain human pathogens has the potential to serve as a living antibiotic for a range of infectious diseases, a new study indicates.
The bacterium, Micavibrio aeruginosavorus, was discovered to inhabit wastewater nearly 30 years ago, but has not been extensively studied because it is difficult to culture and investigate using traditional microbiology techniques. However, biologists in the University of Virginia's College of Arts & Sciences, Martin Wu and graduate student Zhang Wang, have decoded its genome and are learning "how it makes its living," Wu said.
The bacterium "makes its living" by seeking out prey certain other bacteria and then attaching itself to its victim's cell wall and essentially sucking out nutrients. Unlike most other bacteria, which draw nutrients from their surroundings, M. aeruginosavorus can survive and propagate only by drawing its nutrition from specific prey bacteria. This kills the prey making it a potentially powerful agent for destroying pathogens.
One bacterium it targets is Pseudomonas aeruginosavorus, which is a chief cause of serious lung infections in cystic fibrosis patients.
"Pathologists may eventually be able to use this bacterium to fight fire with fire, so to speak, as a bacterium that will aggressively hunt for and attack certain other bacteria that are extremely harmful to humans," Wu said.
(Excerpt) Read more at virginia.edu ...
Isn’t this how most of the zombie movies start?
red ants/black ants.
Let’s not go crazy here and start genetically modifying it.
The only problem is, they only work when the sun goes down.
Does that mean no more garlic or stake ( steak )?
micro ping - the presser links a FReebie. Thanks decimon.
Good find, decimon.
Thanks for the ping.
Not to be confused with musical.
Ping! (Thanks for posting, decimon!)
...and thanks for the ping, neverdem!
Thanks for the ping!
You’re Welcome, Alamo-Girl!
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.