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. 

© 2015 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

Coffee: How People Around The World Drink It and How To Get Free Starbucks For Life

Coffee is extremely important for millions of people to get pumped. Huffington Post listed some of the ways coffee drinkers prefer their caffeinated fix worldwide.


DC Comics Super Hero Cafes Serve The Dark Knight Wagyu Beef Burger And Superman Chicken Burritos [PHOTOS]

Fans of DC superheroes can munch on officially licensed grub inspired by Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman and Green Lantern!

farmers market

Boston Public Market: Not Your Ordinary Farmers Market

The Boston Farmers Market is the very first year-round, indoor market featuring locally sourced food brought directly by various people across Massachusetts and New England. This is the only locally sourced market of its kind in the United States. Located at the MBTA’s Haymarket Station, between Congress Street and the Rose Firtzgerald Kennedy Greenway, the market houses 37 vendors selling everything farm-fresh local produce. The Boston Public Market is a partnership between the Boston Public Market Association, individual donors, foundations, the City of Boston and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Food Tech
Healthy food

Popular Food Taking on New Hues Without Artificial Dyes

Food coloring is a tactic the food industry has utilized for decades, food makers are now trying to steer clear from adding artificial dyes to their products.

CBD-Infused Beer Now a Reality

CBD-Infused Beer Now a Reality

Dad & Dudes Breweria in Aurora, Colorado create CBD-infused beer.

Monir Uddin (not pictured), the head chef at Cafe Bangla curry house on Brick Lane, prepares a lamb curry on March 16, 2011 in London, England.

Poop-Flavored Curry Now Available in New Tokyo Restaurant; How Did Owner Know What Poo Tastes Like? [PHOTOS]

A new restaurant in Tokyo named Curry Shop Shimizu is unlike any other curry shop. They offer their signature dish in a toilet-shaped plate, and for good reason – the restaurant offers poo-flavored curry.

Real Time Analytics