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It only took 35 years for flesh-eating bacteria to become an infectious terror

15
Apr
2014

All it took for flesh-eating bacteria to go from harmless organisms to gruesome infectious pathogens was four mutations and about 35 years. Despite its name, flesh-eating bacteria — a type of streptococcus — doesnt consume flesh. One of the major proteins is an active ingredient in Adolphs meat tenderizer, says James Musser, an infectious disease expert at Houston Methodist Research Institute and co-author of the study published today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. To find out how the bacteria mutated, the researchers analyzed the genomes of over 3,615 population-based strains of streptococcus.

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