Scientists Find Link between Dietary Sugars and Bacterial Epidemic

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Scientists discover that trehalose supports the growth of more virulent C. difficile lineages (RT027 and RT078), that are predominant in patient infections, according to a study published on January 5, 2018.

The team of researchers discovered that trehalose supports the growth of more virulent C. difficile lineages (RT027 and RT078), that have predominate in patient infections. C. difficile is the most common cause of infectious disease-related death in the United States, according to Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The bacterium causes life-threatening colonic inflammation and diarrhea. Patients above 65 years are at the greatest risk, and the infections mostly occur in those who have received antibiotics and medical care.

According to Collins, fluoroquinolone resistance is a characteristic of other C. difficile lineages which are non-epidemic. “We searched for other factors that would help RT027 and RT078 increase their virulence,” said a co-author.

Using mouse models, the team investigated the sources of food preferred by RT027 and RT078 and found that they can grow on levels of trehalose that are nearly 1,000 times lower than those required by other lineages of these bacteria. This serves as a major advantage for RT027 and RT078.

They found that RT027 and RT078 possess the genes to utilize trehalose as a food source. In using trehalose, each lineage is highly efficient and evolves independent mechanisms to make use of this sugar.

The team used a mouse model of C. difficile infection, to find a connection between the ability to metabolize low levels of trehalose and increased disease severity. The results showed that diet did make a difference to the virulence of the infection, where the group that consumed trehalose showed higher mortality.

Increasing outburst of bacterial infections is increasing the demand for development of several restraints to control the spread of infection, due to which the demand for antibacterial drugs is increasing, as elaborated in Antibacterial Drugs Market report published by Coherent Market Insights.

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