Super-Selected Flesh-Eating Bacteria ?

SQUID QUEEN jahoar at ac.dal.ca
Wed Dec 7 13:07:33 EST 1994

	I'm not the most qualified person to answer this, but I'll try...

franklin at ug.cs.dal.ca (Steve Franklin) writes:
> Quick question for you,
>    In light of Bouchard's problem with the streptococcal bacteria, I was
> wondering about the following theory I've had:
> Perhaps this usually 'peaceful' bacteria can undergo such hyper-accelerated
> selection that it becomes incredibly strong and resistant to anti-biotics,
> and at the same time, it's nature changes due to its very specific selection
> criteria? 
	This sounds like what happened with the tuberculosis bacteria recently,
where a super-resistant strain turned up in the US (was it New York?) and was
killing people who contracted it, because none of the "standard" drugs worked
and it was more virulent as well.

> The question then would be - how come this super-strain doesn't spread all
> over and nuke us all in a giant plague? Well, it would seem possible to me
> that as the nature of the bacteria changes, so too would it's means of
> transmission. If the bacteria prefers to get into your bloodstream and
> tissue, rather than into your throat and lungs, then transmission of the
> bacteria becomes more difficult - they lose their airborne advantage, and
> require transmission via open wounds. 
	Hmm...good question...HIV is very virulent, but it also requires 
some exchange of body fluids to pass from one host to another.  Is it 
possible that the more virulent a bacteria gets, the more "delicate" it
gets with regards to transmission?  Seems not completely unlikely to me,
but I am not a virologist/bacteriologist....

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