The way in which nitric oxide restricts the growth of Salmonella bacteria has been revealed by scientists.
Dr. Ferric Fang, senior author of the paper and a University of Washington (UW) professor of laboratory medicine, microbiology and medicine, and his team looked at the multi-pronged action of nitric oxide on Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium. This type of Salmonella can contaminate food and is similar to the bacteria that cause typhoid fever.
AdvertisementNitric oxide and related chemicals put Salmonella into a difficult situation called nitrosative stress. When exposed to nitric oxide, Salmonella is unable to make two essential amino acids, methionine and lysine, without which, Salmonella cannot grow.
"This is bad news for the bacteria, but not for the host," Fang said.
"Nitric oxide doesn't damage the host that produces it," Fang added.
"Collectively, this work demonstrates that nitric oxide imposes substantial metabolic restrictions on bacteria," the authors concluded.
The study has been published in Cell Host and Microbe.
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