Study from Arvind Mahajan and colleagues at the Roslin Institute shows how salmonella thrives to makes us ill

Study from Edinburgh Infectious Diseases shows how salmonella thrives

Scientists have gained fresh insights into how the salmonella bug makes us ill.  The bacteria are able to change key cells that line the intestine, enabling the bugs to thrive.  By changing the make-up of these cells, the salmonella bacteria are able to cross the gut wall, resulting in food poisoning.

Salmonella food poisoning - commonly caused by eating undercooked poultry or eggs - can lead to diarrhoea, fever and even death in young children.  Scientists say this new study furthers our understanding of how bacterial infections occur and what enables them to spread.

The Edinburgh Infectious Diseases researchers found that the salmonella released a protein - SopB - changing the make-up of certain cells that line the gut.  This causes a dramatic increase in cells - called microfold or M cells.  Once the salmonella produces large number of these M cells it can then get through into the bloodstream, causing infection and food poisoning.

Dr Arvind Mahajan, senior author on the study, says,

Bacteria have evolved sophisticated strategies to interact with and infect the host. This highlights yet another way in which microbes are able to transform cells into a type that suits their habitat.

The study was carried out at the Roslin Institute and funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.

It is published in the journal Cell Host and Microbe.  Click here to read the abstract and download the article.


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