E. coli evade detection by going dormant
When stressed, bacteria can temporarily turn comatose and dodge germ-screening tests
By Janet Raloff, 10:05 AM December 6, 2011
Researchers think they now know why a particularly virulent form of E. coli that swept through northern Germany last May was so hard to trace: The germs responsible eluded detection by going into a self-induced deep sleep.
Two new studies show that when stressed, E. coli can turn off most signs of life. That’s a problem for food-safety officials because their germ-screening techniques rely on germs reproducing to establish the presence of live bacteria.
Microbiologists look for life by a...
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