A team of British researchers has discovered how the immune system stops bacteria in our gut from leaking into the blood stream that may help in treatment and prevention of life threatening infections.
If the bacteria escape from the gut into the bloodstream, they can cause infections elsewhere in the body that become deadly if left untreated.
“Gut barrier injury can lead to the often deadly disease known as sepsis, which is one of the biggest killers of critically-ill patients”,” said Chengcan Yao from the University Of Edinburgh.
“Our study reveals a new approach that could be exploited as a treatment to help prevent one of the common causes of sepsis,” Yao added.
The study, published in the journal Science, also helps explain why we do not suffer more infections, despite the vast number of bacteria that are found naturally in our gut.
Their escape is triggered by an immune system failure that causes a massive inflammatory response. This damages healthy tissues and can lead to multiple organ failure.