Diarrhoea and pathogen clearance

Tuesday, 20 June, 2017

Yuk! Food poisoning. One of the first symptoms of a gastrointestinal infection is often diarrhoea. Is this just a symptom of the disease or does diarrhoea play a role in pathogen clearance?

Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in the US have been investigating this very question.

The investigators explored the immune mechanism that drives diarrhoea and its role in clearing infections. Their research, which concluded that diarrhoea does play a critical role in pathogen clearance in the early stages of infection, has just been published in Cell Host and Microbe.

A previously unrecognised role for interleukin-22, an immune system molecule, in the host’s defence against infection was also uncovered.

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