A common bacterium found in improperly cooked chicken can cause Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) -the leading cause of acute neuromuscular paralysis, researchers have found for the first time.
Researchers said that if chicken was not cooked to the proper minimum internal temperature, the bacteria, Campylobacter jejuni, could still exist. “It takes a certain genetic makeup combined with a certain Campylobacter strain to cause this disease,“ said Linda Mansfield from Michigan State University .
“Many of these strains are resistant to antibiotics and our work shows that treatment with some antibiotics could actually make the disease worse,“ said Mansfield of the US.
GBS is the world's leading cause of acute neuromuscular paralysis in humans. “We have successfully produced three preclinical models of GBS that represent two different forms of the syndrome seen in humans,“ Mansfield said. “Our models provide an opportunity to understand how your personal genetic type may make you more susceptible to certain forms of GBS.“
Another area of concern more recently among scientists is related to an increase of the disease due to the Zika virus. Mansfield said that there were many other bacteria and viruses associated with GBS and her models and data could be useful in studying these suspected causes, as well as finding better treatment and prevention options.
Despite the severity of GBS, treatments are very limited and fail in many cases.The use of certain antibiotics in the study aggravated neurological signs, lesions and the number of immune antibodies that can mistakenly attack a patient's own organs and tissues.
Those suffering from GBS can initially experience vomiting and diarrhoea.One to three weeks later, they can begin to develop weakness and tingling in the feet and legs. Gradually , paralysis can spread to the upper body and arms, and even a respirator may be needed for breathing.
Feature Image Source: Reuters