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Regina Bailey

Bacteria in Your Salad

By September 6, 2008

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Salmonella
Credit: Janice Carr/CDC
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that around 80 million people a year in the U.S. alone contract food poisoning or other foodborne diseases. The most common causes of foodborne illness are microbes such as bacteria. Recently, these bacteria have contaminated all types of meat and produce products.

Researchers have announced some good news in the fight against microbial food contamination. They have discovered how Salmonella bacteria infect salad leaves and other vegetables.

Salmonella bacteria use certain cell structures called flagella to attach to lettuce leaves. Flagella are long, whip-like protrusions that aid in cellular locomotion, but in this case, they are also used to grab onto lettuce and other vegetables. The researchers found that when they genetically engineered bacteria without flagella and exposed them to vegetables, the vegetables remained uncontaminated.

Now that the method by which these bacteria infect vegetables has been identified, researchers can now focus on ways to prevent vegetable contamination by Salmonella.

Learn more about this study, see:


Comments

September 10, 2008 at 6:31 am
(1) bright says:

this is site for all to visite.
am an africa science student who belive science is all about finding the imposible,i have discover so plant the can fight malaria.if there is anyone who want to know more pls e-mail me

September 18, 2008 at 9:32 am
(2) India says:

what is your e-mail address? I too am a biology student, and I am interested in your discoveries.

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