Tuberculosis: discovery of a critical stage in the evolution of the bacillus towards pathogenicity

It is the disappearance of a glycolipid from the bacterial cell envelope during evolution that may have considerably increased the virulence of tuberculosis bacilli in humans. Scientists from the CNRS, the Institut Pasteur and the Université Toulouse III have shown that this disappearance modified the surface properties of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, favoring its aggregation in "cords" and increasing its pathogenicity. This discovery constitutes an essential stage in understanding the origin and emergence of the tuberculosis bacillus. The scientists will now continue studying M. canettii and M. tuberculosis in order to determine the bacterial factors, and the immune responses induced by these factors, which have contributed to the success of M. tuberculosis as a major human pathogen.
Source :      2016/3/5 09:46

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