Animal diseases in archaeology by John Robin Baker

Animal diseases in archaeology by John Robin Baker

By John Robin Baker

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Guarding against the most dangerous emerging pathogens: insights from evolutionary biology. Emerg Infect Dis. 1996;2:245-257. Levin BR, Bull JJ. Short-sighted evolution and the virulence of pathogenic microorganisms. Trends Microbiol. 1994;2:76-80. Maurelli A, Fernandez RE, Bloch CA, et al. “Black holes” and bacterial pathogenicity: a large genomic deletion that enhance the virulence of Shigella spp. and enteroinvasive Escherichia coli. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1998;95:3943-3948. Ochman H, Moran NA.

Coli (EPEC) carries genes encoding bundle-forming pili (BFP) that facilitate formation of densely packed, three-dimensional clusters on host enterocytes. In many other instances virulence-associated genes are plasmid-borne. Bacteriophages can also carry virulence genes among pathogenic bacteria. Phage-associated genes encode proteins important in colonization, inactivation of host defense mechanisms, damage to tissues, and other factors. Strains of E. coli produce Shiga toxin as a result of lysogeny by stx-bearing phages.

Semisolid reducing medium is available in a variety of forms for the transport of fluids, swabs, and tissues, and is useful for recovery of aerobic, anaerobic, and microaerobic bacteria. Refrigeration usually preserves viability and reduces overgrowth by extraneous organisms, but fastidious organisms (such as anaerobes)will sometimes die rapidly when exposed tolow temperatures. Specimens likely to contain these organisms, or samples of body fluidsother than urine, should be held at room temperature.

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