Researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston have discovered strains of flesh-eating bacteria that could lead them to understand how toxins in the bacteria work.
This could lead to a better understanding of diseases and how they are treated.
“We provided evidence that presence of these multiple strains of Aeromonas hydrophila significantly influenced disease progression and outcome, more so than if only individual strains had been involved,” Ashok Chopra, professor of microbiology and immunology at UTMB, said. “These four strains could be differentiated by using advanced laboratory technology but not by routine clinical procedures. What we found was that although mice were infected with all four strains, only one of the strains spread to the inner organs, namely the spleen and liver.”
The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Chopra also partnered with the Federal Drug Administration, CosmosID, Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland.
The strain that Chopra studied was the Aeromona hydrophila, which is one of the more debilitating strains, as it causes necrotizing fasciitis, an infection that spreads quickly in both muscle and skin tissue. This strain is most commonly found in fresh water in the warmer months of the year.