Washington: Scientists have found out how the microbe salmonella infects millions with food poisoning and typhoid fever.
Yale University researchers tracked how salmonella is able to make proteins line up in just the right sequence to invade host cells.
"These mechanisms present us with novel targets that might form the basis for the development of an entirely new class of anti-microbials," said Jorge Galan, senior study author and professor of Microbial Pathogenesis at Yale, reports the journal Science Express.
Galan`s lab has been in the forefront of investigating the intricate mechanisms that microbes such as salmonella use to infect foreign cells, according to a Yale statement.
Galan and colleagues identified what they call a bacterial sorting platform, which attracts needed proteins and lines them up in a specific order.
If the proteins do not line up properly, salmonella, as well as many other bacterial pathogens, cannot "inject" them into host cells to commandeer host cell functions, the lab has found.
Understanding how this mechanism works raises the possibility that new therapies can be developed which disable this protein delivery machine and counteract the bug.
Salmonella sickens at least 40,000 people annually in the US and kills about 400 people, according to the Centre for Disease Control.