Using Knowledge of Virulence Factors to Select or Design Organisms with Low Risk of Pathogenicity
As Omenn and others have emphasized, applying our knowledge of ecology, physiology, and genetics of microbes to the pollution cleanup challenges of our society may require that microorganisms be deliberately released into the environment. Naturally, there are scientists, legislators, and laymen who view such an action with concern. Among their concerns are what the potential danger to human and animal health might be. Fortunately, a fair amount is known about the factors that are involved in microbial pathogenicity. Can we use this knowledge to design genetically engineered microorganisms (GEMs) destined for release into the environment to have a minimal impact on animal or plant health? A medical microbiologist will immediately respond, “Of course. It has already been done for decades in human and veterinary medicine.”
KeywordsPertussis Toxin Ciliated Cell Toxic Shock Syndrome Bordetella Pertussis Whooping Cough
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