Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Food & Beverage Analysis
Scientific Community
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article

Gut Microbes Could Determine the Severity of Melamine-Induced Kidney Disease

Published: Monday, February 18, 2013
Last Updated: Monday, February 18, 2013
Bookmark and Share
According to an international study, microbes in gut can affect the severity of kidney disease brought on by melamine poisoning.

Microbes present in the gut can affect the severity of kidney disease brought on by melamine poisoning, according to an international study led by Professor Wei Jia at the University of North Carolina in collaboration with the research group of Professor Jeremy Nicholson at Imperial College London.

In 2008, nearly 300,000 Chinese children were hospitalized with kidney disease brought on by supplies of powdered milk deliberately contaminated with melamine to boost the apparent protein content.

Although melamine was known to combine with uric acid in the children's bodies to produce harmful kidney stones, the details of the reaction and the role of specific gut microbes were not well understood.

By studying how melamine contributes to the development of kidney stones in rats, the research groups have shown experimentally that gut microbes may be central to understanding melamine-induced kidney failure in humans.

The formation of kidney stones occurs when melamine reacts with cyanuric acid in the kidney to form crystals which cannot be dissolved in the bloodstream.

According to the paper, published in Science Translational Medicine, certain species of gut microbes are responsible for converting melamine into the toxic cyanuric acid, thereby accelerating the rate at which kidney stones are formed.

Tests on rats showed that the presence of microbes of the Klebsiella family tended to facilitate the process of melamine conversion, potentially making them key players in the formation of kidney stones. This study suggests that toxicity in this case is linked to the make-up of gut microbes in the poisoned organism.

"The metabolic activities of gut microbes strongly influence human health in profound ways and have been linked to the development of multiple medical problems ranging from autoimmune diseases, obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease," said Professor Nicholson, head of the Department of Surgery and Cancer at Imperial.

Professor Nicholson continued, "The specific implication of this research is that the expression of the kidney disease in the Chinese contaminated milk scandal is likely to have been mediated by gut bacteria in affected children. The more general implication is that gut microbial status affects the outcome to exposures to environmental and food contaminants."

Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,800+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,000+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters

Sign In

Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Health Risks of Saturated Fats Aggravated by Immune Response
Research shows that the presence of saturated fats resulted in monocytes migrating into the tissues of vital organs.
Friday, September 04, 2015
Engineering Bacteria for Vaccine Delivery
An eight million Euro project has been launched with the aim of engineering bacteria to deliver vaccines against antibiotic-resistant infections.
Monday, May 18, 2015
Scientists Discover Brain Mechanism that Drives us to Eat Glucose
Scientists have discovered a mechanism in the brain that may drive our appetite for foods rich in glucose and could lead to improved treatments for obesity.
Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Scientists Create Food Ingredient That will Make you Feel Fuller
Scientists have developed an ingredient that can be added to foods to make them more filling.
Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Anti-Appetite Molecule Released by Fibre Could Help Tackle Obesity
New research has helped unpick a long-standing mystery about how dietary fibre supresses appetite.
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Genetic Study Supports Link Between Carbohydrate Digestion and Obesity
Study investigates the relationship between body weight and AMY1 gene.
Tuesday, April 01, 2014
Dying from a Food Allergy is Less Likely than Being Murdered
The study is published in Clinical and Experimental Allergy.
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Dying From Food Allergy Less Likely than being Murdered
A person with a food allergy is more likely to be murdered than to die from a severe reaction, according to a new study.
Monday, November 25, 2013
Tackle Fungal Forces to Save Crops, Forests and Endangered Animals, Say Scientists
Crop losses due to fungal attack challenge food security and threaten biodiversity.
Thursday, April 12, 2012
Gastric Bypass Surgery Changes Food Preferences
The findings suggests a new mechanism by which some types of bariatric surgery lead to long-term weight loss.
Wednesday, August 03, 2011
Scientific News
The MaxSignal Colistin ELISA Test Kit from Bioo Scientific
Kit can help prevent the antibiotic apocalypse by keeping last resort drugs out of the food supply.
Kitchen Utensils Can Spread Bacteria Between Foods
In a recent study researchers found that produce that contained bacteria would contaminate other produce items through the continued use of knives or graters—the bacteria would latch on to the utensils commonly found in consumers' homes and spread to the next item.
GMO Food Animals Should be Judged by Product, Not Process
In a world with a burgeoning demand for meat, milk and eggs, regulatory policies around the use of biotechnologies in agriculture need to be based on the safety and attributes of those foods rather than on the methods used to produce them, says a UC Davis animal scientist.
Acetaldehyde and Formaldehyde Content in Foods
Korean researchers have determined the content of the toxic and carcinogenic aldehydes, acetaldehyde and formaldehyde, in a variety of food groups.
Increasing Vitamin D Supplementation
New study from ETH Zurich finds that elderly women should consume more vitamin D than previously recommended during the winter months.
IARC Monographs Evaluate Consumption of Red Meat and Processed Meat
Processed meat eaten daily increases the risk of colorectal cancer by 18%.
Nanoparticles in Foods Raise Safety Questions
Nanoparticles can make foods like jawbreaker candies brighter and creamier and keep them fresh longer. But researchers are still in the dark about what the tiny additives do once inside our bodies.
Arsenic Found in Many U.S. Red Wines
A new University of Washington study that tested 65 wines from America’s top four wine-producing states — California, Washington, New York and Oregon — found all but one have arsenic levels that exceed what’s allowed in drinking water.
Viruses Join Fight Against Harmful Bacteria
Engineered viruses could combat human disease and improve food safety.
Plastic for Dinner
Roughly a quarter of the fish sampled from fish markets in California and Indonesia contained man-made debris according to a study from the University of California, Davis, and Hasanuddin University in Indonesia.

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,800+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,000+ scientific videos