Medical Research Council - Clinical Services Centre

Gut Bugs Attack
01 August 2014

Gut Bugs Attack

Diarrhoea, sickness, cramps, fever – just some of the symptoms of food poisoning. Some of us will be unlucky enough to experience these as a result of infection by a nasty gut bug known as Campylobacter jejuni, found on raw poultry such as chicken. It's one of the leading global causes of food-related illness, yet we know little about how it infects us. To find out more, researchers are studying mice carrying a faulty version of a gene called Sigirr that are particularly prone to Campylobacter infection. Pictured is a highly magnified section of gut from one of these animals showing the bacteria (highlighted in red) aggressively attacking and invading the gut tissue (blue and green). Figuring out how cells in the gut and the wider immune system respond to this onslaught reveals more about what's going on, and opens new approaches for more effective prevention and treatment.

Written by Kat Arney

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