- Antibiotic resistance
- Hemagglutinin for sticking to surfaces
- Toxin to release nutrients from the intestinal walls.
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Bacteria on food is a problem for diet-compromised people.
Gut Flora are Required for a Healthy Immune System
Healthy people don't get sick from food poisoning, because their gut flora provide protection. Gut bacteria control the development of the human immune system by producing interesting compounds, including short chain fatty acids and vitamins. In response to the gut bacteria, the healthy immune system produces white blood cells that can effectively attack bacteria, and also control this aggressive behavior to spare human cells and avoid unnecessary attacks on beneficial bacteria.
Disrupted Gut Flora Lead to Susceptibility to Disease/Infection
Gut flora can be compromised by what we eat and antibiotics. Those normally affected by food poisoning are the very young (on formula), the old (constipated) and those treated with antibiotics. Each of these groups have abnormal gut flora. Food poisoning is rarely observed in exclusively breastfed babies being introduced to foods, because human milk contains potent antimicrobial polysaccharides (human milk oligosaccharides) that only permit the growth of a few species of Bifidobacteria. Formula (in any amount) disrupts the normal development of the gut and immune system by stimulating an inflammatory growth of adult gut bacteria, making these babies more susceptible to intestinal and respiratory diseases, including food poisoning.
Constipation, which is more common in older people, reflects a disruption of the gut flora and decreases the effectiveness of the immune system in these individuals. In most cases the compromised gut flora results from a long history of a restricted diet and reduced access to environmental sources of bacteria.
Antibiotics are usually ignored as major corruptors of the immune system, even though they are known to produce diarrhea and constipation. Doctors reluctantly suggest that people taking antibiotics should just eat some yogurt. This is a silly oversight that severely compromises future health, because probiotics supply only a tiny fraction of the 150 different species of bacteria needed for a healthy body and immune system.
Pathogenic E. coli is Made by Antibiotic Use in Cattle
E. coli is a common and essential resident of the human gut and the best studied bacterium. This bacterium is not normally resistant to antibiotics nor does it produce deadly toxins. Antibiotic resistance and toxin production results from treating cattle with antibiotics to increase fat production prior to butchering.
Antibiotics Select for E. coli that Stick to Rectal Surface of Cattle
Pathogenic E. coli are not found throughout cattle fecal material, but rather they are only in the outermost surface layer. This outer layer of material contains bacteria from the surface of the rectum just as the cow pies are deposited. E. coli does not normally stick to this surface, because it lacks a protein, such as a hemagglutinin capable of binding to the surface polysaccharides, heparan sulfate. Antibiotics kill off the bacteria normally residing on the surface. As a member of the intestinal biofilm community, E. coli continually exchanges DNA/genes with other bacteria in the gut and picks up three useful genes, to become a pathogen:
E. coli with these three genes can colonize the rectal tissue of cattle in feed lots.
Pathogenic E. coli Can be Easily Avoided
We have to work hard as a society to have problems with E. coli. Pathogenic E. coli results from absurd use of huge quantities of antibiotics just to disrupt the normal gut flora of cattle so that they become unhealthy and store fat in their tissues, i.e. prime beef. The same effect can also be achieved just by feeding the cattle some short chain fatty acids, or better still avoiding this step by feeding exclusively on grass. It would also be easy to treat the few cattle that have pathogenic E. coli, so that it doesn't become a problem. Proper treatment of manure and meat processing would also block transmission of pathogenic E. coli to agricultural crops or meat. Finally, an Anti-inflammatory Diet and Lifestyle would provide a healthy gut flora and immune system that would make people less susceptible to the pathogen.