Back to theodicy: good gut bugs can turn bad (The nature of a \'Creator\')

by David Turell @, Saturday, February 13, 2021, 20:07 (551 days ago) @ David Turell

E. coli is usually a good resident, but can pick up genes and turn bad:

"An international team of scientists has determined how harmless E. coli gut bacteria in chickens can easily pick up the genes required to evolve to cause a life-threatening infection.


"Avian pathogenic E.coli (APEC) is most common infection in chickens reared for meat or eggs. It can lead to death in up to 20 per cent of cases and causes multi-million pound losses in the poultry industry. The problem is made worse by increasing antibiotic resistance and infections also pose a risk of causing disease in humans.


"The team of scientists, led by the Milner Centre for Evolution at the University of Bath, sequenced and analysed the whole genomes of E. coli bacteria found in healthy and infected chickens bred at commercial poultry farms to better understand why and how these normally innocuous bugs can turn deadly.

"They found there was no single gene responsible for switching a harmless bacterium into a pathogenic one, but rather that it could be caused by several combinations of a diverse group of genes.

"Their results indicate that all bacteria in chicken intestines have the potential to pick up the genes they need to turn into a dangerous infection, through a process called horizontal gene transfer.


"'But our study compared the genomes of disease-causing and harmless E. coli in chickens and found that they can 'turn bad' simply by picking up genes from their environment.

"'Bacteria do this all the time inside the guts of chicken, but most of the time the scavenged genes are detrimental to the bacteria so it becomes an evolutionary dead end. (my bold)


"Professor Sheppard said: "We identified around 20 genes that are common in pathogenic bugs and if we can look out for these key genes in a flock of birds, that would help farmers target those carriers before they cause a problem.'"

Comment: We are back to the same issue of why are there bad bugs? E' coli perform good services in the intestine generally, but are a common cause of urine infection in women due to female anatomy. They accidently end up in the wrong place. Not God's fault. Note my bold that most of the gene transfers are fatal. Gene transfer is an accepted mechanism for adaptation and evolutionary change or advance. I assume it was designed by God. And perhaps, note my bold, He set this circumstance up to control bad gene transfers, or I admit, like the urine infections an accident, or an uncontrolled mistake.

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