Multiple Sclerosis Linked to Food Bug: Bacterial Toxin May Trigger Disease

Jan 29, 2014 07:29 AM EST | By Staff Writer

  • print
Raw Chicken
South Korea is killing chickens by the dozen. The country has now culled over 6 percent of poultry in order to curb a bird flu outbreak that has impacted farms and migratory birds nationwide. (Photo : Flickr)

You might to be careful about what you eat. It turns out that a certain toxin from common, foodborne bacteria could trigger multiple sclerosis. The findings show how important it is to test food safety in order to make sure what we eat isn't contaminated.

Like Us on Facebook

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory disease of the nervous system. It's characterized by blood brain permeability (BBB) and demyelination. This is a process in which the insulating myelin sheathes are damage. The disease itself is thought to be triggered in a genetically susceptible individual by one or more environmental factors; what these environmental factors are, though, have remained unknown--at least until now.

The researchers found that epsilon toxin could be triggering MS. This toxin is produced by certain strains of Clostridium perfringens, which is a spore-forming bacterium that's one of the most common causes of foodborne illness in the United States. This toxin targets the brain cells associated with MS pathology.

"We provide evidence that supports epsilon toxin's ability to cause BBB permeability and show that epsilon toxin kills the brain's myelin producing cells, oligodendrocytes; the same cells that die in MS lesions," said Jennifer Linden, one of the researchers, in a news release. "We also show that epsilon toxin targets other cell types associated with MS inflammation such as the retinal vascular and meningeal cells. Epsilon toxin may be responsible for triggering MS."

These findings are particularly important. If confirmed that epsilon toxin is a trigger for MS, scientists could potentially develop a neutralizing antibody or vaccine directed against epsilon toxin. This, in turn, could halt the progression of the disease or prevent it from even developing. Needless to say, that's an important step when it comes to the safety of our food.

The findings were presented at the 2014 ASM Biodefense and Emerging Diseases Research Meeting. 

© 2014 Food World News. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
Get the Most Popular Food Stories in a Weekly Newsletter
TrendingOn The Web
Food Biz
Tea contains theanine and caffeine that stimulates the brain function and mental alertness.

Tea and Benefits: Various Teas That You Have To Try

Tea has been recorded long in centuries to bring good health, wisdom and happiness. With its powerful benefits, tea has been a point of many studies. Research has proven that tea aids in weight loss, lower cholesterol, help diseases including cancer, diabetes and heart problems.

Processed foods are synonymous to obesity, type II Diabetes and high blood pressure. It has bad reputation for bringing huge calories and elevated blood glucose and blood pressure.

Processed Foods That Should Be Out Of Your Shopping List

Processed foods are synonymous to obesity, type II Diabetes and high blood pressure. It has bad reputation for bringing huge calories and elevated blood glucose and blood pressure.

Burger King Fiscal Fourth Quarter Earnings Drop 17 Percent As Sales Drop

Burger King Canada Move: Fast Food Giant Saves $1.2 BILLION In Taxes By Moving Headquarters!

The announcement of Burger King's Canada move a few months ago caused many eyebrows to be raised, but that was before the company made public just how much they'd be saving up by moving to the friendly North American country: 1.2 billion dollars.

Food Tech
A national survey done by the North Carolina State University and the University of Minnesota representatives suggests that most U.S. consumers are ready to accept genetically modified and nanotech products if it is enhanced with nutrition and are safe.

U.S. Consumers, Ready To Accept Genetically Modified, Nanotech Products If It Is Healthy And Safe, New Survey Reveals

A national survey done by the North Carolina State University and the University of Minnesota representatives suggests that most U.S. consumers are ready to accept genetically modified and nanotech products if it is enhanced with nutrition and are safe.

Starbucks Introduces Wireless Chargers In 200 Stores

Starbucks Introduces Wireless Chargers In 200 Stores

Starbucks Wireless Chargers – Starbucks announced that from Tuesday, there would be 200 stores in the San Francisco Bay Area which count with wireless charging spots.

Lee Memorial Health System

Food Means Medicine, Lee Memorial Health System Improves Cafeteria

The Lee Memorial Health System has announced that they believe food is very important in the recovery of patients in their hospital so they are really working on making their cafeteria be different and defy the generalization of people that hospital food is not really appetizing.

Real Time Analytics