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War Between Bacteria and Phages Benefits Humans

BOSTON (September 2, 2014) — In the battle between our immune systems and cholera bacteria, humans may have an unknown ally in bacteria-killing viruses known as phages. In a new study, researchers from Tufts University, Massachusetts General Hospital, Partners In Health, Haiti’s National Public Health Laboratory, and elsewhere, report that phages can force cholera bacteria to give up their virulence in order to survive. Importantly, the study — published in eLife — found that cholera’s mutational escape from phage predation occurs during human infection.

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