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NIMBioSIt has been generally believed that most mycobacteria–which cause a fatal animal disease–remain inactive during the period when an infection shows no symptoms. Analysis by researchers at the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS), based at UT, suggests that the  majority of bacteria in mice subjects were actively replicating, challenging this widely held notion. The researchers used mathematical modeling for the study, which examined granuloma formation in Johne’s disease, a fatal gastrointestinal disease found in animals. The results were recently published in Frontiers in Microbiology.

The study’s co-authors include Vitaly Ganusov, an assistant professor of microbiology and Shigetoshi Eda, a professor of forestry, wildlife and fisheries in the Institute of Agriculture. They also include three NIMBioS 2014 Summer Research Experiences students: Margaret McDaniel, who at the time of the program was a UT student in biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology and mathematics; Nitin Krishna, who was a student in mathematics at the University of Chicago; and Winode Handagama, who was a student in biochemistry at Maryville College.

Read more on the NIMBioS website.