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Listeria monocytogenes virulence factor Listeriolysin O favors bacterial growth in co-culture with the ciliate Tetrahymena pyriformis, causes protozoan encystment and promotes bacterial survival inside cysts

Valentina I Pushkareva and Svetlana A Ermolaeva*

BMC Microbiology 2010, 10:26  doi:10.1186/1471-2180-10-26

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Tetrahymena pyriformis has no resting cysts

ANA MARTIN_GONZALEZ   (2010-02-26 11:03)  Departamento de Microbiología-III. Facultad de Biología. Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Spain email

This paper focuses on a very interesting topic: the role of protozoa as reservoirs of human pathogens. However, I am afraid but Tetrahymena pyriformis has not resting cyst. So, its life cycle does not include an encystment-excystment cycle. Many papers support this affirmations. For example, see:
Sauvant, N et al (1999). Chemosphere 38:1631-69
o visit the Tetrahymena web site (look for in Google).
In conclusion, two alternative facts could be true:
a) The ciliate identification is wrong
b) The showed "resting cyst" is really an encapsulated vegetative cell. Remember tha Tetrahymena has many mucocysts that discharge their content in the presence of some unfavourable environmental or in the presence of some compounds as Alcian Blue (J. Cell Sci. 1983, 64:49-67)

Competing interests

None. I study some cellular and molecular aspects of Tetrahymena thermophila under environmental stress, that are not related with the topic of commented paper


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