> Food Poisoning from Salmonella Bacteria Could Cause Permanent DNA Damage - The Food Safety Company Food Poisoning from Salmonella Bacteria Could Cause Permanent DNA Damage - The Food Safety Company
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    Tuesday, 28 February 2017

    Food Poisoning from Salmonella Bacteria Could Cause Permanent DNA Damage

    While food poisoning is typically regarded as a short term illness, with symptoms subsiding after four to seven days and the body then returning to normal without the need for medical intervention, a new study recently published to the journal mBio has cast doubt on that theory.

    In the UK, an estimated 500,000 people contract food poisoning in any given year, with the vast majority of these cases attributed to salmonella. However, it’s not quite that simple, as there are in fact over 2.500 known strains of the bacteria. It is also worth noting however that of these 2,500 strains, the vast majority of foodborne illnesses are caused by fewer than 100 of these varieties.


    Carried out by a team of researchers from the Cornell University of New York, the study focused primarily on the strain known as Typhi, which is known to cause typhoid fever and produce a toxin known as S-CDT. The unimaginatively-named toxin can cause serious problems, attacking cells and damaging DNA.

    The worrying part is that tests carried out as part of the study found that other, far more common strains of the bacteria are also capable of producing the same toxin, causing DNA damage during laboratory experiments as a result. While our bodies are capable of repairing minor DNA damage, each attempted fix carries the potential of incorrect repairs.

    Research author Rachel Miller explains: “Think about DNA damage this way: We apply sunscreen to keep the sun from damaging our skin. If you don’t apply sunscreen, you can get a sunburn - and possibly develop skin problems later in life.

    “While not the sun, salmonella bacteria may work in a similar way.

    “The more you expose your body’s cells to DNA damage, the more DNA damage that needs to be repaired, and there may one day be a chance that the DNA is not correctly repaired.”

    If damage is done to the DNA, those involved in the study state that this could lead to the individual being more susceptible to repeat occurrences whilst also contributing to long-term health problems such as diabetes, arthritis, kidney failure and high blood pressure. They did however admit that the “true permanent damage” caused by salmonella infections remains unclear.

    Martin Wiedmann, co-author of the study, stated: “A person’s damaged DNA from salmonella could lead to long-term health consequences after the infection subsides, such as longer bouts with food borne illness.”

    While we will have to wait on the results of more research before any potential danger is fully understood, it may be worth taking that extra minute to ensure that any food you consume is properly prepared, lest you pay dearly for the mistake in the future.


    Sam Bonson

    Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. He is currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor in an attempt to expand his horizons.
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    Item Reviewed: Food Poisoning from Salmonella Bacteria Could Cause Permanent DNA Damage Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Food Safety Co
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