Flesh eating bacteria
Name: Bonnie S Keller
How does the "flesh eating" streptococcal bacteria eat flesh?
Excellent question! To tell you the truth, we're still working on it.
Invasive infections caused by Group A streptococci have been around for
a long time and are relatively rare. The bacteria produce a variety of
proteins which can interact with human proteins. Some of these proteins
are enzymes which degrade human tissue, allowing the bacteria to penetrate
deeper into the host. The bacteria also have mechanisms to evade host
attempts to localize and destroy it. This ability to grow and penetrate
through the host tissue has resulted in the term "flesh eating".
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Update: June 2012