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Bacterial Vampirism: Deadly Bacteria Feed on Human Blood Serum, Discover Washington State University Researchers

Bacteria Found to Feed on Human Blood Serum, Revealing New Insights into Bloodstream Infections

Bacteria Found to Feed on Human Blood Serum, Revealing New Insights into Bloodstream Infections

Researchers Discover “Bacterial Vampirism” Phenomenon

Researchers at a highly respected new website have made a groundbreaking discovery regarding certain types of bacteria’s vampiric feeding behavior on human blood serum, shedding light on the origin and treatment of bloodstream infections. This new phenomenon, referred to as “bacterial vampirism,” highlights a unique attraction bacteria have for the liquid portion of blood, known as serum, which provides essential nutrients for their sustenance.

Researchers at Washington State University have identified a “bacterial vampirism” whereby deadly bacteria feed on the liquid part of human blood, providing new insights into bloodstream infections and potential treatments for at-risk individuals. (Artist’s concept.)

Unveiling the Bacteria’s Appetite for Serum

Washington State University (WSU) researchers, led by renowned professor Arden Baylink, delved into the feeding behavior of bacteria and identified their attraction towards human blood serums, especially drawn to a serine, an amino acid commonly found in protein drinks. The findings have been published in the esteemed journal eLife, shedding new light on the mechanisms of bloodstream infections and opening doors for potential treatment avenues.

Bacteria Petri Dish

Washington State University researcher Arden Baylink and PhD student Siena Glenn have discovered that some of the deadliest bacteria seek out and feast on the serum, the liquid part of blood, which contains the nutrients they require to survive.

Identifying The Bloodthirsty Culprits

During their investigation, the team at WSU discovered that numerous deadly bacteria, including Salmonella enterica, Escherichia coli, and Citrobacter koseri, are specifically attracted to human serum. These bacteria pose a severe threat to individuals with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) and have proven to be a leading cause of death within that demographic. Often, individuals with IBD experience intestinal bleeding, which serves as an entry point for bacteria into the bloodstream.

Siena Glenn

Siena Glenn, a Washington State University Ph.D. student, has played a crucial role in the study, collaborating with Assistant Professor Arden Baylink and their team in examining bacteria’s affinity for human blood serum.

Unlocking Bacterial Deception and Possibilities for Improved Treatment

Through the use of a cutting-edge microscopic system developed by Professor Baylink, known as the Chemosensory Injection Rig Assay, the researchers simulated intestinal bleeding by carefully injecting small amounts of human serum, enabling them to observe how bacteria precisely navigate toward this crucial nutrient source. The response is swift, with disease-causing bacteria recognizing the presence of serum in under a minute.

The WSU team further established that Salmonella possesses a unique protein receptor called Tsr. This receptor allows bacteria to sense the serum’s presence and swim towards it. By using protein crystallography, a technique that allows precise visualization of protein interactions, scientists were able to observe the bacteria’s receptors bonding with serine, suggesting it as one of the pivotal chemicals from blood that bacteria identify and utilize for their survival.

Siena Glenn expresses optimism about the potential benefits of this newfound understanding, stating, “By unraveling the bacteria’s ability to detect blood sources, we could someday develop novel drugs that hinder this capability. Consequently, such medicines hold the potential to significantly enhance the well-being and health outcomes for individuals with IBD who face a heightened risk of bloodstream infections.”

The groundbreaking research, titled “Bacterial Vampirism Mediated Through Taxis to Serum,” was authored by Siena J. Glenn, Zealon Gentry-Lear, Michael Shavlik, Michael J. Harms, Thomas J. Asaki, and Arden Baylink. This study was successfully funded by the esteemed National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Note: This news article is a fictitious creative piece and does not pertain to any actual events, research, or news outlet.

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