Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Liverpool scientists uncover how E.coli became lethal

04.04.2005


A University of Liverpool scientist has discovered how the food poisoning bug E.Coli 0157 became deadly to humans.



Twenty-three years ago a harmless gut bacterium called E. coli developed the ability to kill people through food poisoning, bloody diarrhoea and kidney failure. Normally E. coli bacteria live in the intestine and don’t pose any danger, but some varieties can cause fatal food poisoning. The most serious in the UK is E. coli O157, which is carried by livestock (mainly cattle), and can enter the human food chain through contaminated meat and inadequate food processing.

Dr Heather Allison, from the University’s School of Biological Sciences, explains: "Sometime before 1982 an unknown virus that attacks bacteria passed on a part of genetic coding to E. coli that allows some strains to make Shiga toxin. This lethal poison causes the notorious food-borne infection that results in bloody diarrhoea and sometimes kidney failure in people."


The team has now discovered how the virus can infect E. coli, by recognising a newly identified but common receptor on the surface of E. coli cells, which allows the viruses to gain entry into the bacteria. Once inside, the virus gives new genetic material to the bacterium, providing it with the ability to produce Shiga toxin.

In order to reduce the likelihood of picking up the E. Coli bug, Dr Allison suggests avoiding undercooked minced beef; foodstuffs in general that have come into contact with livestock faeces and have not been cooked or properly washed; untreated water contaminated with livestock faeces; and cooked foodstuffs that have come into contact with contaminated, uncooked meat products.

Samantha Martin | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.liv.ac.uk

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Researchers identify new way to unmask melanoma cells to the immune system
17.01.2018 | Duke University Medical Center

nachricht Study advances gene therapy for glaucoma
17.01.2018 | University of Wisconsin-Madison

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

Im Focus: A thermometer for the oceans

Measurement of noble gases in Antarctic ice cores

The oceans are the largest global heat reservoir. As a result of man-made global warming, the temperature in the global climate system increases; around 90% of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Gran Chaco: Biodiversity at High Risk

17.01.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Only an atom thick: Physicists succeed in measuring mechanical properties of 2D monolayer materials

17.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Fraunhofer HHI receives AIS Technology Innovation Award 2018 for 3D Human Body Reconstruction

17.01.2018 | Awards Funding

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>