“A lot of people have H. pylori, but very few have bad outcomes. Is that due to the organism or the host?” says Martin Blaser, a microbiologist at New York University School of Medicine. “This paper provides evidence that the fit is important. It’s a very nice advance.”
The study led by Pelayo Correa and Scott Williams at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, has shown that this mismatch can turn a normally benign infection into a potentially carcinogenic one. When analysed together, the genomes of hosts and microbes give a better prediction of the risk of disease than when considered alone, the team found. Their results were published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
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