Printer Friendly

Bacteria pill may some day prevent serious foodborne illness.

Washington, Jan 10 ( ANI ): An Indian-origin scientist and his team hope that a pill based on modified probiotics, the beneficial bacteria touted for their role in digestive health, could one day decrease the risk of Listeria infection in people with susceptible immune systems.

Arun Bhunia, a professor of food science at Purdue University, and his colleagues found that the same Listeria protein that allows the bacteria to pass through intestinal cells and into bloodstreams can help block those same paths when added to a probiotic.

"Based on the research, it looks very promising that we would get a significant reduction in Listeria infections," said Bhunia.

Bhunia's earlier work showed that Listeria triggers intestinal cells to express heat shock protein 60 on their surfaces. That allows Listeria to bind to the intestinal cells using an adhesion protein and pass into them, acting as a sort of gateway to the bloodstream.

Once in the bloodstream, even small doses of Listeria can cause fever, muscle aches, nausea and diarrhea, as well as headaches, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions if it spreads to the nervous system. It can also cause abortion and stillbirth in pregnant women.

The researchers found that probiotics alone were ineffective in combatting Listeria, so they stole a trick from the bacteria's own playbook.

By adding the Listeria adhesion protein to the probiotic Lactobacillus paracasei, they were able to decrease the number of Listeria cells that passed through intestinal cells by 46 percent, a significant decrease in the amount of the bacteria that could infect a susceptible person.

With the adhesion protein, Lactobacillus paracasei interacts with heat shock protein on the surface of intestinal cells just as Listeria would. The probiotic then attached to the intestinal cells, crowding out Listeria.

"It's creating a competition. If Listeria comes in, it doesn't find a place to attach or invade," Bhunia explained.

He said he could one day foresee the development of a pill or probiotic drink that could be given to at-risk patients to minimize the risk of Listeria infection.

The findings were published this month in the journal PLoS One. ( ANI )

]]>

Copyright 2012 aninews.in All rights reserved.

Provided by Syndigate.info an Albawaba.com company
COPYRIGHT 2012 Al Bawaba (Middle East) Ltd.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2012 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:Asian News International
Date:Jan 10, 2012
Words:367
Previous Article:Nicotine patches may help regain memory loss in older adults.
Next Article:Graphene could make computers and cellphones last longer.
Topics:

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2018 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters