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New insight into combating Salmonella

By Tim Sandle     Jun 29, 2013 in Science
Scientists have gained a new understanding into how Salmonella causes infection. This is by taking over the ‘good’ bacteria in the human gut. This understanding could lead to new treatments.
The research findings show how infectious Salmonella bacteria find places to hide and take over certain nutrients until they are in sufficient numbers so that they can over-power the ‘good’ bacteria which normally reside in the human gut. It appears that Salmonella might use the sugar fructose either as a sign that it has found a good place to reproduce or use fructose to sustain itself during infection, or possibly both.
These findings were shown based on studies using mice. Here the researchers were able to show how Salmonella usurps the microbes that normally populate the gut.
The implication of the study is that by knowing what the bacteria eat, scientists can try to promote the ‘good’ bacteria show that they are sufficiently strong to repel the infectious Salmonella bacteria.
Food poisoning caused by Salmonella bacteria causes tens of thousands of cases in most countries every year. Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, vomiting, and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. In most cases, the illness lasts four to seven days. It is hoped that medics will one day be able to control or prevent gastrointestinal infection by varying the chemical balance in the human body.
As an example, a few weeks ago the Digital Journal reported that the company Alderman Farms Sales Corp. recalled its one-pint containers of cherry tomatoes because they are probably contaminated with Salmonella.
The research was led by Josh Adkins of the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. The findings have been reported in the journal PLOS ONE. The paper is titled “A Multi-Omic View of Host-Pathogen-Commensal Interplay in Salmonella-Mediated Intestinal Infection.”
More about Salmonella, Food poisoning, Bacteria, Contamination, Gut bacteria
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