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This Science news article introduces a 2002 publication in which an international team of researchers determined that the bacterial symbiont Wolbachia might be the real culprit in river blindness. While the disease is transmitted by a parasitic nematode, studies have shown that 'curing' the worm of its Wolbachia infection with antibiotics suppresses the severe immune system response, which slowly robs people of their vision. The article discusses the collaborative research effort and indicates that more studies are needed to fully understand the role this finding may have in stopping the spread of the disease.
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