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Strep B pigment attacks placenta: bacterial weapon pokes holes in immune cells, study shows.
A type of bacteria that can cause still-birth and fatal illness in newborns attacks with an unlikely weapon: an orange pigment made of fat.
This pigment mutilates infection-fighting immune system cells, enabling the bacteria--Group B Streptococcus--to quickly cross the placenta and invade the amniotic sac, a new study in monkeys shows. In one case, it took as little as 15 minutes for the bacteria to cross the protective membrane, researchers report October 14 in Science...
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