Scientists have made an important discovery about the molecular interactions that occur between generally benign species of Propionibacterium bacteria and the pathogenic bacterium Staphylococcus aureus, the cause of most “staph” infections.
These bacterial species are commonly found in the human nostrils and, also, on human skin. S. aureus is a potential pathogen that inhabits the nostrils of about a quarter of all adults. It is also a common cause of skin and more invasive infections.
Researchers discovered that a small molecule secreted by skin/nostril-associated Propionibacterium species impacts the behavior of S. aureus in the lab. This research may lead to new and sustainable ways to manage the nostril-associated bacterial community to decrease infection.
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