Costa Rica Coffee Guide

Costa Rican scientists discover new bacteria

February 22, 2018

You know you’ve made it when you’ve got a strain of Listeria named after you.

Listeria costaricensis” is the official name for a new bacteria identified by scientists from the Biotechnology Research Center at the Costa Rican Institute of Technology (TEC). According to a news release from TEC, the Costa Rican researchers, Johnny Peraza and Kattia Núñez, made the discovery in collaboration with scientists from the Pasteur Institute in Paris, France.

Listeria is a group of bacteria composed of 18 species, two of which are pathogens, meaning that they cause serious harm to humans or animals that consume foods contaminated by the bacteria, the statement explained. Listeria monocytogenes is the most famous of the pathogens and can cause meningitis, as well as damage to a fetus if contracted by a pregnant woman.

As befits the military-free nature of the country for which it is named, Listeria costaricensis is not harmful, and will in fact help researchers learn more about the bacteria’s more dangerous cousins. It could even lead to the discovery of antibiotics that could help treat people facing bacterial infections.

The bacteria was discovered in water collected from an industrial drain in the province of Alajuela over a period of years. The genetic identification of the sample was carried out in collaboration with the National Listeriosis Reference Center at the Pasteur Institute.

“In Costa Rica, very little research exists in microbiological diversity; despite that, this discovery reflects the diversity of Listeria and shows that in Costa Rica there is fertile ground for this kind of research,” added Javiera Pizarro-Cerda, Research Director of the Pasteur Institute.

 

 

 

 

You may be interested

At least a dozen people rescued as boat sinks in Tamarindo
Costa Rica
6 views
Costa Rica
6 views

At least a dozen people rescued as boat sinks in Tamarindo

Alejandro Zúñiga - September 24, 2020

At least a dozen people returned safely to shore on Wednesday evening when their schooner sank off the coast of…

IMF predicts ‘partial and uneven’ recovery in Latin America due to Covid-19
Costa Rica
825 views
Costa Rica
825 views

IMF predicts ‘partial and uneven’ recovery in Latin America due to Covid-19

AFP and The Tico Times - September 24, 2020

The International Monetary Fund foresees a "partial and uneven" recovery in Latin America after the Covid-19 crisis, and it anticipates…

Costa Rica coronavirus updates for Wednesday, September 23
Costa Rica
5495 views
Costa Rica
5495 views

Costa Rica coronavirus updates for Wednesday, September 23

Alejandro Zúñiga - September 23, 2020

Costa Rica announced 21 new coronavirus-related deaths over the last day for a total of 781, according to official data…