A2: Microbes in the News Number 3

“Scientists discover how ‘superbug’ E. coli clones take over human gut’

Phys.org

by: University of Birmingham (no author listed)

April 23rd

Link: https://phys.org/news/2019-04-scientists-superbug-coli-clones-human.html

Summary:

Research was done on a strain of E.Coli that is resistant to many drugs, and why it has become a source of infections related to the bacteria. The amount of E.Coli cases has risen 27% between 2012-2013 and 2017-2018. The researchers said that the reason it has not become completely dominant is because if there is only one strain of E.Coli and something happened to that strain then E.Coli would disappear. They said Negative frequency dependency selection keeps balance in E.Coli populations so this does not occur. It also mentioned that this strain of bacteria had a lot more variability genetically in genes that help colonize the gut than other strains.

Connections:

This connects to what we learned in class because it talks about drug resistance in bacterial species.

Critical Analysis:

I think that it is interesting that the amount of E.Coli cases has risen as much as it has. I think this article is credible as it cites from the authors of the paper it talks about. I think this article did an okay job at explaining to the public, there were a couple of terms they could have described further to make it make more sense such as negative frequency dependency selection.

Question:

How is it possible that one specific strain could become so much more dominant than other strains of E.Coli?

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