I hypothesize that dormant bacterial genomes in the form of intracytoplasmic dense bodies are a mechanism for bacterial persistence, and may cause infections systematically overlooked in clinical medicine. Cell wall-defective bacteria may be involved in latent and chronic infection and may retain their pathogenicity. Persisting small, electron dense, elementary bodies derived from cell wall-defective bacteria seem to have cell and tissue tropisms correlated with a variety of chronic human diseases, notably kidney infections. These dense bodies bear a remarkable resemblance to the membrane bounded dense core particles of unknown origin demonstrated at the ultrastructural level in various tissues.
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