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The weaponry of salmonellae


04 Mar 2011
Needle complex

Bacteria like salmonellae infect their host cells by needle-shaped extensions which they create in large numbers during an attack. A group of Vienna-based scientists headed by Thomas Marlovits employed recently developed methods of cryo-electron microscopy and have been able to clarify the structure of this infection apparatus on the near-atomic scale. The exact knowledge of the needles’ building plan may help to develop substances that interfere with its function and thus prevent infection.


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