Friday, May 25, 2007

Diseases caused by diseased bacteria

kw: illnesses, viruses, bacteria, pathogenesis

While researching another topic, I encoutered this article on Lysogeny, which refers to the life cycle of viruses that insert their genomes into host cells. Herpes is the best known example, with HIV a close second (how well known, not numbers infected).

I'd heard in the past that some diseases are caused by normally harmless bacteria being themselves infected by viruses. In some cases, the viruses carry the DNA for the disease toxin. These four lysogenic diseases are mentioned in the article:
  • diphtheria
  • cholera
  • botulism
  • scarlet fever
What a list!

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