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Name: Bonnie S Keller
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Question:
How does the "flesh eating" streptococcal bacteria eat flesh?



Replies:
Excellent question! To tell you the truth, we're still working on it. Invasive infections caused by Group A streptococci have been around for a long time and are relatively rare. The bacteria produce a variety of proteins which can interact with human proteins. Some of these proteins are enzymes which degrade human tissue, allowing the bacteria to penetrate deeper into the host. The bacteria also have mechanisms to evade host attempts to localize and destroy it. This ability to grow and penetrate through the host tissue has resulted in the term "flesh eating".

-Rob



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