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Scientists make your stomach turn bright green if you have an ulcer
Date:1/8/2014

Doctors may soon be able to diagnose stomach ulcers without taking tissue samples from the stomach. Researchers from the University of Southern Denmark now report to have developed a new, safer and noninvasive diagnostic technique for ulcers. The trick is to make the ulcer-causing bacteria in the gut light up in fluorescent green.

Each year, many patients are examined for ulcers, and this is often done by retrieving a tissue sample from the stomach. This requires that the doctor sends an instrument down into the patients stomach, and the patient must wait for the tissue sample to be analyzed before the doctor can give information about a possible ulcer.

Now researchers from University of Southern Denmark are developing a diagnostic technique that makes it possible to detect the ulcer instantly. It shortens the patient's unease and it improves the doctor's opportunity for early diagnosis.

"Early diagnosis does not only prevent ulcers from developing, it can also prevent the development of cancer", says Ph.D. student Silvia Fontenete from the Nucleic Acid Center at the University of Southern Denmark/Laboratory for Process Engineering, Environment, Biotechnology and Energy, University of Porto in Portugal. She is the lead author of an article on the research results in journals PLOS ONE.

Ulcers are often caused by the bacteria Helicobacter pylori, which produces ulcers in the stomach or duodenum. Usually the doctor retrieves a tissue sample from the stomach and has it analyzed. You can also take a breath test, where molecules in the patient's breath are analyzed, but this technique is not always reliable, says Silvia Fontenete.

Scientists have for some time been able to make tissue samples from the stomach glow fluorescent green if the tissue is infected with H. pylori bacteria. For this the scientist will need to retrieve a piece of the stomach for analysis in the laboratory.

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Contact: Birgitte Svennevig
birs@sdu.dk
University of Southern Denmark
Source:Eurekalert  

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