Skip Navigation LinksHome > September 2007 - Volume 15 - Issue 5 > Microbial Adaptation: Putting the Best Team on the Field
Infectious Diseases in Clinical Practice:
doi: 10.1097/IPC.0b013e31814b1b47
Immunology/Microbiology for ID

Microbial Adaptation: Putting the Best Team on the Field

Patel, Shiv Shashi MD; Rosenthal, Ken S. PhD

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Abstract

Bacteria, viruses, and parasites are in a constant state of flux to win the game of survival established by the selective pressures of our body. Microbes can change their genetic makeup and become stronger in a manner similar to that of a baseball manager changing the players on a team and then selecting for the best team. Mutation, conjugation, transduction, transformation, and recombination are the genetic approaches that Mother Nature uses to alter the microbial team of genes, and then she selects the best team to play against the body's defenses and other challenges. This review will provide an overview of the options and methods available to bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus and viruses such as western equine encephalitis virus, herpes simplex virus, influenza virus, or human immunodeficiency virus as they evolve the genetic players needed to succeed as parasites within the different niches of the human body and withstand the selective pressures of immune and chemical antimicrobial control.

© 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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