Scientists at Imperial College, London, England, used advanced imaging technology to study a major bacterial protein of E. coli 0157:H7 - intimin.
The research showed that the pathogen injects one of its receptors into the host cell, they reported in BBSRC Business, the magazine of the UK Biological Sciences Research Council.
|E. coli 0157:H7 injects one of its own receptors into the host cell.
More than 73,000 cases of E. coli 0157:H7 infection are reported annually in the USA.
The researchers said they were developing a picture of the genetic framework of the bacteria. This could be used for future drug and vaccine development.
Researcher Dr Steve Matthews said, "The unique thing about the way the pathogen binds to host is that the bacterial cell actually produces and injects one of its receptors into the host cell - harpooning itself to the cell.
"Normally a pathogen will use existing receptors on the surface of the cell, so this is particularly intriguing especially in terms of how the bacteria has evolved."
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