Question 268738

A group of researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture isolate a new bacterium

from the lungs and lymph nodes of several young horses that became ill and died at a

local stable. Prior to death, their symptoms included disorientation and loss of motor

function, so the researchers suspected central nervous system involvement, which was

confirmed by the observation of brain lesions in the dead animals. Based on 16S rRNA

comparisons, the bacterium was distantly related to Neisseria meningitidis, and they

subsequently named it Neisseria equiniae. The researchers believe that N. equiniae may

be responsible for the brain lesions observed in a small percentage of older horses that die

of apparent dementia. What four criteria must be satisfied in order for the researchers to

prove that the brain lesions in these older horses are caused by N. equiniae? Provide at

least three modern molecular experiments that could be performed to satisfy these

criteria.