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Study says therapeutics for trauma patients may not be effective due to an infection
Date:3/16/2010

A Kansas State University study aimed at alleviating intestinal damage in trauma patients digressed to an important finding that could affect medication given to the individuals.

Diana Hylton is a K-State senior in microbiology, nutritional sciences and pre-medicine. She is analyzing how the immune system is involved in damage to the intestines following hemorrhagic shock. While studying the effects of a complement inhibitor given following hemorrhage, she found that Helicobacter infection changes the body's mechanistic response and would therefore affect the therapeutics given to trauma patients.

"The understanding of the different immune processes involved after hemorrhage suggests that the therapeutic potential of some drugs might not be effective on trauma patients with undiagnosed Helicobacter infections," Hylton said.

Hylton is working with Sherry Fleming, assistant professor in the Division of Biology. Hylton's project involves studying a mouse model of hemorrhage, which is associated with a sudden rapid loss of a significant amount of blood, and it is common in trauma patients. Hemorrhage causes intestinal damage, and the body responds by activating the complement system.

The complement system is part of the body's natural immune mechanisms to defend against infections. However, uncontrolled and excessive activation can result in inflammatory tissue damage, so trauma victims are given therapeutics to stop the activation. If a therapeutic could stop complement activation briefly, trauma victims would get less tissue damage and improved survival and recovery because the natural immune functions would remain intact.

Hylton has been analyzing changes in the mouse model concerning the intestinal tissue injury and inflammatory response. During the study, the mice became infected with Helicobacter, which is a bacteria found in the intestines of animals and humans. The infection often does n
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Contact: Sherry Fleming
sdflemin@k-state.edu
785-532-6130
Kansas State University
Source:Eurekalert  

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