Streptococcus pneumoniae is an anaerobic bacterium that is known to cause majority of community-acquired pneumonia. Also known as pneumococcus, it is a commensal organism in the human respiratory tract. This means that it benefits from the human body without harming it. However, if pneumococcus causes infection, it can lead to pneumonia, bronchitis, otitis media, septicemia or meningitis.
A new research has found how pneumococcus obtains essential nutrient manganese from human body. It obtained the nutrients in a regulated fashion using a unique gateway that sits in the bacteriumÂ’s membrane that opens and closes to specifically allow manganese in. Such gateways were never seen in a pathogen like pneumococcus.