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Understanding why carriers of meningococci occasionally develop invasive disease is a major challenge. Individual strains of meningococci are extremely variable and undergo dynamic changes in DNA content and organization. This heterogeneity of meningococcal populations might enhance the fitness of this human-restricted bacterium. The recent discovery of a meningococcal bacteriophage and its associations to disease is an intriguing example of this variability and could contribute to a better understanding of microbial commensal and virulence behaviour.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/j.tim.2005.10.004

Type

Journal article

Journal

Trends Microbiol

Publication Date

12/2005

Volume

13

Pages

563 - 565

Keywords

Bacteriophages, Genetic Heterogeneity, Humans, Meningitis, Meningococcal, Neisseria meningitidis, Virulence