Friday, 12 February 2016

Immunity genes could protect some people from E. coli


According to a Duke Health study published January 19 in the Journal of Infectious Diseases, a person's resistance to certain germs, specifically E. coli bacteria, could come down to their very DNA.

Researchers exposed 30 healthy adults to enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli, one of the world's leading causes of bacteria-induced diarrhea and a common cause of so-called 'traveler's diarrhea,' which often requires treatment with antibiotics.

To learn more about why some people get sick and others stay well, the researchers drew patients' blood and looked for clues in their gene expression -- the degree to which some genes are turned on or off. They noted differences among the six patients with severe symptoms, and six participants who showed no symptoms despite having been exposed to the bacteria.

Among the thousands of genes that distinguished the two groups, there were significant differences in the activity of 29 immune-related genes that could predict who would go on to become sick and those who would remain well.

For further details see:

William E. Yang, Sunil Suchindran, Bradly P. Nicholson, et al Transcriptomic Analysis of the Host Response and Innate Resilience to Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli Infection in Humans. Journal of Infectious Diseases, January 2016 DOI: 10.1093/infdis/jiv593

Posted by Dr. Tim Sandle

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