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A selection of interesting papers that were published in the two months before this issue in major journals most likely to report significant results in microbiology. •of special interest ••of outstanding interest</P>Contents (chosen by) 349 Host–microbe interactions: bacteria (Blocker and Peppler) 351 Cell regulation (McFall-Ngai) 352 Ecology and industrial microbiology (Normand) 353 Microbial techniques (Brisse) 354 Host–microbe interactions: fungi (Spitzer) 354 Host–microbe interactions: viruses (Rosenthal) 355 Host–microbe interactions: parasites (Sibley) 356 Genomics (Labedan and Forterre) 357 Antimicrobials (Brown) 358 Growth and development (Gold et al. And Feucht) </P>1 <h5>Host–microbe interactions: bacteria</h5> Selected by Ariel Blocker Sir W Dunn School of Pathology, Oxford, UK e-mail: ariel.blocker@pathology.oxford.ac.uk •• A link between virulence and ecological abundance in natural populations of Staphylococcus aureus . Day NPJ, Moore CE, Enright MC, Berendt AR, Maynard Smith J, Murphy MF, Peacock SJ, Spratt BG, Feil EJ: Mol Science 2001, 292 :114-116. Significance : For decades, we have believed and taught (although the relevant literature was mostly silent on the subject!) that virulence in bacterial pathogens arises by ‘mistake’. That is, that free-living bacteria have vast environmental reservoirs and only ‘by accident’ become virulent: upon acquiring or expressing one or a few new virulence genes (for http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Current Opinion in Microbiology Elsevier
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