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Study Reveals E.Coli's Grip on Gut
Date:10/18/2007

bind together to form a structure known as an adhesive type IV pilus, that they call hemorrhagic coli pilus (HCP). This HCP bundle allows the bacteria to attach to human intestinal epithelial cells, the researchers said.

The authors also found that individuals with HUS had an immune response to one component of HCP.

The research group is now looking to start experiments in animals and/or humans. "In our lab, we did in vitro experiments, but we are trying some collaboration with other universities to do some in vivo [in animals/humans] experiments," said Partha Samadder, a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Jorge A. Giron, the study's lead author.

"Overall, it all has to be corroborated by others," Imperato said. "All that said, meaningful therapeutic interventions to prevent this cascade of molecular biological events will be years off. Meanwhile, the key is to prevent these infections in the first place."

There are ways to help prevent foodborne illness. They include:

  • Make sure ground beef and other meats as well as eggs are well cooked before you eat them.
  • Wash raw fruits and vegetables with soap. Pay particular attention to leafy greens as there are lots of crevasses and cracks where E. coli can hide.
  • Don't chop vegetables on the same block where you just made beef hamburgers or prepared other meat. Keep raw meat separate from ready-to-eat foods.
  • Keep raw and ready-to-eat foods completely separate.
  • Refrigerate leftovers promptly.
  • Avoid bruised produce such as tomatoes.
  • Make sure all cooking utensils including meat thermometers and cutting boards are thoroughly cleaned with soap and hot water after you've handled them.
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and hot water.
  • Drink only pasteurized milk, juice or cider.
  • Drink municipal water that has been treated with chlorine or another disin
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