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        Gross Science | The Food Poisoning Lurking in Your Freezer

        Learn about listeria, a type of bacteria that causes food poisoning, in this video from NOVA’s Gross Science series. Listeriosis is a serious disease that can kill up to 20 percent of people infected. Listeria grows on food and is tough enough to survive and even reproduce in cold refrigerators. When food contaminated with listeria is consumed, the body’s immune system recognizes the bacteria as a danger and mounts an immune response. White blood cells engulf the bacteria in phagosomes; however, listeria can escape this initial immune response by hijacking the cell’s cytoskeleton to move inside the cell, where it collects nutrients and reproduces. Eventually, the bacteria burst from the cell to infect other cells; the infection can become deadly as it spreads through the bloodstream to major organs. This resource is part of the NOVA: Gross Science Collection.

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