New life form discovered in saliva is linked to human disease
Parasitic bacteria that are entirely dependent on the other bacteria they infect have been discovered for the first time, in human spit. The tiny cells have gone undetected for decades, but appear to be linked to gum disease, cystic fibrosis and antimicrobial resistance. We only know of one other strain of bacteria that can infect other bacteria, but this type, called Bdellovibrio, is a free-living cell that hunts down its prey. The newly discovered organism has very few genes and is dependent entirely on its host. The parasite, which appears to make its host more harmful to humans, evaded our detection until now because...