Food poisoning linked to Crohn's disease

Individuals sickened by food-borne pathogens that leave lasting impressions on the gut microbiome may have an increased risk of developing Crohn's disease later in life, according to a new study published in PLOS Pathogens.

For the study, researchers monitored mice infected with Salmonella Typhimurium or Citrobacter rodentium, which are common causes of food poisoning. After the mice expelled the bacteria that caused the infection, levels of adherent-invasive Escherichia coli, which typically reside in the gut, increased. AIEC bacteria have been previously linked to the development of Crohn's disease.

Crohn's disease is a debilitating bowel disease characterized by the inflammation of the intestines. According to the CDC, approximately 1 to 1.3 million people suffer from inflammatory bowel disease in the U.S.

"This is a lifelong disease that often strikes people in their early years, leading to decades of suffering, an increased risk of colorectal cancer and an increased risk of premature death," said Brian Coombes, PhD, senior author of the study and a professor of biochemistry and biomedical sciences at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada. "We need to understand the root origins of this disease — and to use this information to invigorate a new pipeline of treatments and preventions. It has never been more pressing."

More articles on infection control: 
Record number of Salmonella infections in US linked to backyard chickens 
Top 10 infection control stories, Oct. 3-7 
UV light disinfection cuts C. diff rates by 25%, study finds

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