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Zombie-like Persister Bacteria

January 31, 2013

Today in the Boston Globe: “Latent TB germs can hide in marrow cells, study says” by Carolyn Y. Johnson:

theories of how infections can recur and persist are being examined, such as the possibility that bacteria enter a zombie-like “persister” state, in which they are able to evade drug attack and then revive an infection.

with link to Johnson’s prior article from May 2011: “BU researchers deliver one-two punch against wily bacteria” describing:

chronic infection caused by “persisters” — bacteria that slip into a zombie-like state, evading medications until somehow they reawaken to cause the same infection again. In a study published today, Collins and colleagues report that they found a way to overcome the defenses of these bacteria that essentially play dead, by perking them up with a deceptively simple antibiotic sidekick: sugar.

Recall zombies connection to Haitian sugar and the triangular trade (by way of Boston!)!!! Recall also the connection of zombies to epidemiology and science education .


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