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Listeria 'tricks' cells to infect humans

West Lafayette, Ind. -- Listeria bacteria, a source of food-borne illness, tricks cells in the body's intestines to pass through those cells and make people sick, researchers say.

Researchers at Purdue University found that listeria, even in low doses, somehow triggers intestinal cells to express a protein that acts as a receptor for listeria, a university release said.

This may allow the bacteria to enter the cells in the intestinal wall and exit into a person's bloodstream, the researchers say.