Bacteriophage attacking an infectious bacterium
Dr. Jeremy Barr observes growth and the attachment of human lung epithelial cells (Photo: SDSU)
Bacteriophage adheres to mucus layers and provides immunity against invading bacteria (Image: Jeremy Barr)
Bacteriophage injecting its genome through a bacterial cell wall (Image: Dr. Graham Beards via Wikimedia Commons)
Bacteriophage virus infecting a bacterial cell (Image: Adenosine and Thomas Splettstoesser via Wikimedia Commons)
A typical myovirus bacteriophage (Image: Adenosine via Wikimedia Commons)
Though not something people like to ponder, the purpose of mucus as a protective barrier that keeps underlying tissues moist and traps bacteria and other foreign organisms is well known. However, researchers at San Diego State University (SDSU) have now discovered that the surface of mucus is also the site of an independent human immune system that actively protects us from infectious agents in the environment.
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