Professor Ray Dixon and his research team from Georgia Institute of Technology, US and the John Innes Center, UK have found a mechanism by which the pathogenic bacteria defends itself from the defense mechanism of the host. The researchers have reported the results of their research in the Journal Nature.
Pathogenic bacteria cause food borne illness by producing toxins in the food and these toxins, which enters with the food causes illness in some cases of food poisoning the bacteria is consumed with the food leading to multiplication and pathogenicity inside the stomach. Pathogenic bacteria causing food borne illness are Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella, Clostridium perfringens, Vibrio cholerae, Vibrio parahemolyticus, Listeria monocytogens and Bacillus cereus. Food borne illness can be prevented by good personal hygiene, proper cooking of food, avoid contamination of microorganisms and using clean vessels for cooking and storage of food.
The research team studied the mechanism of how Escherichia coli protects itself from the poisonous nitric oxide produced by the host against E. coli. The researchers found that E. coli produces a protein called NorR which contains a iron molecule which binds to the nitric oxide produced by the host and protects the bacterium against host defense.
The researchers feel that by finding a mechanism by which the activation of NorR is prevented, it is possible to find new therapeutics and drugs for controlling food poisoning bacteria, which has showed an increase in drug resistance.