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English Caption: 

Research at DESY's X-ray light source PETRA III reveals how certain viruses called bacteriophages kill the potentially life threatening diarrhoea bacterium Clostridium difficile. The study by scientists of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Hamburg shows how enzymes of these viruses are triggered and released to degrade the cell walls of the bacteria. The work opens up new opportunities for developing effective bacteriophage therapies, as the researchers led by EMBL Group Leader Rob Meijers write in the scientific journal PLoS Pathogens.

This electron microscope image shows a Clostridium difficult bacterium.

To learn more, please see the press release "How Viruses Kill Diarrhoea Bacteria."

Credit: Jennifer Hulsey/CDC