Khamis, 5 Jun 2008

Morons, mucus & microbiota

icosahedral Phage
Science Biology: Bacteria + viral Phage in the gut
Note pictures, expecially the hexagonal space packing one.

Humans produce saliva-like mucus along the length of the GI tract, respiratory tract and the reproductive tract. Humans have ten times more bacteria cells than human cells in their bodies, only 10% of your cellular body is genetically really you.

Bacteriophages use 'morons' (novel genes) which cause diarrhea by excreting chemicals, this moves the virus (which had been inside the bacteria) away to new victims via fecal material, eg. E. coli.

"The bacteria only cause diarrhea because of genes encoded by phages!

'Morons' are genes that bacteriophages carry around which are unnecessary for the virus, but helpful for the host bacteria. Like the MORON toxins that encode Type III secretion effectors that make you poop when you're colonized by Salmonella or Cholera or the MORON toxins that make you poop when you eat spinach sprinkled with E. Coli.."

'What is the advantage to an E. Coli or Cholera strain that makes me want to die as opposed to a strain that just hangs out not causing problems? The Backpacker'

"Because you poop and then bacteria can spread to new hosts, fecal to oral :) Poop is the key** Its like how influenza makes you feel like crap, but you cough/sneeze, which spreads the virus to new hosts! people die from this, if they don't have access to adequate medical treatment..."

So it's the secretion of the bacteriophage that affects the ionic membrane producing diarrhea, while antibiotic treatment kills the bacteria, thereby killing the parasitizing virus. The bacteria itself is not toxic, and will sit in the body until time for virus reproduction, when toxins are released.


Bacteriophages can be found in all reservoirs populated by bacterial hosts, such as soil or the intestines of animals. One of the densest natural sources for phages and other viruses is sea water, where up to 9×108 virions per milliliter have been found in microbial mats at the surface[2], and up to 70% of marine bacteria may be infected by phages.[3]

They have been used for over 60 years as an alternative to antibiotics in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.[4] They are seen as a possible therapy against multi drug resistant strains of many bacteria.

Tiada ulasan: