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Categoryglobal health

Mechanism that prevents lethal bacteria from causing invasive disease is revealed.

An important development in understanding how the bacterium that causes pneumonia, meningitis and septicemia remains harmlessly in the nose and throat has been discovered by scientists. Streptococcus pneumoniae is a ‘commensal’, which can live harmlessly in the nasopharynx as part of the body’s natural bacterial flora. However, in the very young and old it can invade the rest of the body, leading to serious diseases such as pneumonia, sepsis and meningitis, which claim up to a million lives every year worldwide.

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