Researchers identify key enzyme found in disease-causing bacteria responsible for heart valve disease

By Sathya Achia Abraham
University Public Affairs, VCU Across the Spectrum (

A disease-causing bacterium found in the mouth needs manganese, a trace mineral, in order to cause a serious heart infection, according to a preclinical study led by researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University Philips Institute for Oral Health Research in the School of Dentistry.

The findings, which may solve a longstanding mystery of why some bacteria need manganese to cause disease, provide possible new targets for antibiotics.

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