Navigation Links
Walkerton Tragedy: 10 years of research leads to breakthrough
Date:1/27/2010

This release is available in French.

Studies of the victims of the Walkerton, Ont. tainted drinking water tragedy have led researchers to discover DNA variations in genes that increase the risk of developing post-infectious irritable bowel syndrome (PI-IBS). The sheer scale of infection and the recording of the health of Walkerton's citizens gave a team of researchers a unique opportunity to study the origin of this disorder.

"Although the exact cause of PI-IBS remains unknown, we now know for the first time that, in addition to the environmental trigger, genetic factors are also playing a critical role in the development of this disease," explains McGill PhD Alexandra-Chlo Villani, who led the team under the direction of principal investigators John K. Marshall (McMaster) and Denis Franchimont (formerly of McGill). Stephen Collins (McMaster) also collaborated.

Almost 10 years ago, the municipal water supply of Walkerton was contaminated with E. coli and Campylobacter jejuni, leading to a public health disaster. Seven people died and 2,300 suffered symptoms, including bloody diarrhea. Of these 2,300, 36 per cent developed PI-IBS, giving the town the highest incidence of PI-IBS ever reported.

PI-IBS is a functional bowel disorder that has an acute onset after an episode of gastroenteritis. "These patients suffer from chronic abdominal pain, discomfort, bloating and disturbed defecation in the absence of any detectable structural or biochemical abnormalities," said Marshall, a gastroenterologist. "After the exclusion of known organic disorders, like Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, such patients are diagnosed with PI-IBS."

"The biological implications of the identified genetic risk factors emphasize the important roles of the gut microbial flora, intestinal barrier function and inflammatory pathways in contributing to the onset of PI-IBS," Villani explained. Though these results will not lead to any new short-term treatments for PI-IBS, Marshall is confident that in the longer term the research will lead to better patient care, including potentially novel therapeutic targets for research, as well as improved medical decision-making ("risk stratification") concerning victims of future outbreaks.


'/>"/>

Contact: William Raillant-Clark
william.raillant-clark@mcgill.ca
514-398-2189
McGill University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. First orchid fossil puts showy blooms at some 80 million years old
2. ESA celebrates 100 years of insect science journals
3. Researchers detect hint of oxygen 50 to 100 million years earlier than first believed
4. The benefits of 80 million years without sex
5. Researchers find origin of breathable atmosphere half a billion years ago
6. Fossil record reveals elusive jellyfish more than 500 million years old
7. Rodent fossils allows to determine climate of the Iberian Peninsula 6 million years ago
8. Atomic bomb survivor, scientists mark 60 years of long-term radiation study
9. Molecular Biology of the Cell celebrates 25 years of publication
10. 4 health behaviors can add 14 extra years of life
11. After more than 100 years apart, webworms devastate New Zealand parsnips
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:11/30/2016)... Poland , Nov. 30, 2016 Not many of us realize that ... aspects of recovery so we need to do it well. Inadequate sleep levels have ... high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, and even cancer. Maybe now is the ... present that could help them to manage their sleep quality? ... ...
(Date:11/29/2016)... 2016 Nearly one billion matches per second with ... ... DERMALOG is Germany's largest ... Identity Management. (PRNewsFoto/DERMALOG Identification Systems) ... DERMALOG is Germany's largest Multi-Biometric supplier: The company's Fingerprint Identification System ...
(Date:11/22/2016)... Nov. 22, 2016   MedNet Solutions , an ... spectrum of clinical research, is pleased to announce that ... Healthcare and Life Sciences Awards as "Most Outstanding ... an unprecedented year of recognition and growth for MedNet, ... 15 years. iMedNet ™ , ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/8/2016)... Francisco, CA (PRWEB) , ... December 08, 2016 ... ... Oculus as finalists in the World Technology Awards. uBiome is one of just ... received across all categories. , In addition to uBiome, companies nominated as finalists ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... 8, 2016  Soligenix, Inc. (OTCQB: SNGX) (Soligenix ... on developing and commercializing products to treat rare ... announced today the long-term follow-up data from its ... first-in-class Innate Defense Regulator (IDR), in the treatment ... cancer patients undergoing chemoradiation therapy (CRT).  The additional ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... TAMPA, Fla. , Dec. 8, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... biopharmaceutical company that discovers, develops and plans to ... today that its shares of common stock were approved ... stock will begin trading on the OTCQX, effective ... To qualify for the OTCQX market, companies must ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... , Dec. 8, 2016 Eutilex Co. ... billion KRW (US $18.9M) Series A financing. This financing ... G.N. Tech Venture and SNU Bio Angel. This new ... 30.5 billion KRW (US $27.7M) since its founding in ... to bolster the development and commercialization of its immuno-oncology ...
Breaking Biology Technology: