Chapter 18 : from the Seas?

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In the 20th century, medicine advanced on two parallel tracks: the progressive refinement of therapeutics and the increasing sophistication of surgery. Novel drugs replaced the surgeon's scalpel, but rarely did the reverse occur. Peptic ulcers and coronary heart disease are two outstanding examples. Since Barry Marshall and Robin Warren’s work on in Perth, Australia, in 1982, gastrectomies for intractable peptic ulceration have been largely consigned to history. The researchers believe they may have located an important source of human infections. The paper published in describes a simple, quick, multistage DNA preparation method that the Italian group used to search for in seawater. Meanwhile, 250 miles to the south of Cellini's sampling station, marine research provided further disquieting news about the health aspects of pathogens living in association with plankton. Working in the Straits of Messina, between the southernmost tip of mainland Italy and Sicily, microbiologists from the University of Messina found evidence that the colonization of zooplankton by organisms capable of causing human disease is a widespread phenomenon. This survey had several purposes, including an assessment of the occurrence of species of , , and other genera in Italy's coastal waters, together with comparisons of free-living bacteria and those associated with zooplankton and of plankton-bound organisms with selected pathogens. One of the most significant findings was that not only and spp. were linked with zooplankton, but so too were , enterococci, and and spp.

Citation: Dixon B. 2009. from the Seas?, p 83-86. In Animalcules. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817442.ch18
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1. Cellini, L.,, A. Del Vecchio,, M. Di Candia,, E. Di Campli, M. Favaro,, and G. Donelli. 2004. Detection of free and plankton-associated Helicobacter pylori in seawater. J. Appl. Microbiol. 97: 285 292.
2. Maugeri, T. L.,, M. Carbone,, M. T. Fera,, G. P. Irrera,, and C. Gugliandolo. 2004. Distribution of potentially pathogenic bacteria as free living and plankton associated in a marine coastal zone. J. Appl. Microbiol. 97: 354 361.

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