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Molecular microbiology

A key event in survival

The parasitic microorganism Trypanosoma brucei evades recognition by its host's immune system by repeatedly changing its surface coat. The switch in coat follows a risky route, though: DNA break and repair.

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Figure 1: Antigenic switching and sources.


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Barry, D., McCulloch, R. A key event in survival. Nature 459, 172–173 (2009).

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