Gut bacteria feed off dead cells to develop infections, study finds

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AUTHOR: Stef Bottinelli

A reasearch study by the Ghent and the Flemish Institute for Biotechnology, the University of Virginia School of Medicine in Charlottesville and the Sloan Kettering Institute in New York has discovered that bacteria in the gut uses dying cells as fuel in order to infect and attack the system.

When cells in our gut biome are dying, they send an alert to adjacent, healthy cells. The study has discovered that bacteria such as Salmonella and E.Coli pick up on these signals too and use them to feed off dead cells and attack our organism by causing infections. 

The researchers came to this conclusion whilst studying healthy mice. They noticed that dying cells in the rodents’ epithelium – the inner lining of the intestine – sent off a molecular alert