We've updated our Privacy Policy to make it clearer how we use your personal data.

We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. You can read our Cookie Policy here.

Advertisement
Flu Remedies Help Combat E. coli Bacteria
News

Flu Remedies Help Combat E. coli Bacteria

Flu Remedies Help Combat E. coli Bacteria
News

Flu Remedies Help Combat E. coli Bacteria

Read time:
 

Want a FREE PDF version of This News Story?

Complete the form below and we will email you a PDF version of "Flu Remedies Help Combat E. coli Bacteria"

First Name*
Last Name*
Email Address*
Country*
Company Type*
Job Function*
Would you like to receive further email communication from Technology Networks?

Technology Networks Ltd. needs the contact information you provide to us to contact you about our products and services. You may unsubscribe from these communications at any time. For information on how to unsubscribe, as well as our privacy practices and commitment to protecting your privacy, check out our Privacy Policy

Trillions of bacteria populate the human gut - which makes them more common than any other cells in our body. The composition of this bacterial population is very variable and influenced by our diet. Diseases, but also antibiotic treatments can induce significant shifts in this equilibrium. If entire bacterial groups suddenly multiply heavily, critical situations occur. They damage the intestinal tissue and cause inflammations. How such shifts are triggered largely remained a mystery. 

A carbohydrate causes E. coli to multiply

In their normal state, E. coli are harmless and only make up around 0.1 percent of the intestinal flora. If present in large amounts, however, they can cause diarrhea or a serious intestinal inflammation. The Zurich study reveals that an overproduction of E. coli can be attributed to the availability of the carbohydrate sialic acid, which is found in large amounts in the proteins of the intestinal mucosa. To actually be able to utilize the sialic acid, the bacteria enlist the aid of the enzyme sialidase, which is released by other intestinal bacteria. "It's striking that E. coli doesn't produce this kind of enzyme itself," explains Thierry Hennet, a professor from the Institute of Physiology at the University of Zurich.

Hennet and his colleagues succeeded in demonstrating the complex chain of events involved in a severe inflammation triggered by E. coli: An injury to the intestinal mucosa initially causes the increased multiplication of a non-pathogenic bacteria, which emits sialidase. This increased enzyme production releases sialic acid, which facilitates an overproduction of E. coliand can thus cause intestinal inflammation.

Sialidase inhibitors combat intestinal inflammations

The researchers also discovered that the intake of a sialidase inhibitor prevents the excessive formation of E. coli and was thus able to alleviate the disease symptoms. Interestingly, such sialidase inhibitors were already developed against the influenza virus. "Derivatives of known flu agents such as Tamiflu and Relenza could therefore also be used for inflammatory intestinal diseases, which opens up new therapeutic possibilities," says Hennet.

Advertisement