E-cigarettes decrease immunity from super bugs

E-cigarettes decrease immunity from super bugs
Highlights

E-cigarettes, touted as a healthy alternative to conventional smoking, could increase the virulence of drug-resistant

WASHINGTON: E-cigarettes, touted as a healthy alternative to conventional smoking, could increase the virulence of drug-resistant and potentially life-threatening bacteria, while decreasing the ability of human cells to kill these superbugs.

Researchers at the VA San Diego Healthcare System (VASDHS) and the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), tested the effects of ecigarette vapour on live methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and human epithelial cells.
MRSA commonly colonizes the epithelium of the nasopharynx, where the bacteria and epithelial cells are exposed constantly to inhaled substances such as e-cigarette vapour and cigarette smoke.
Exposure to e-cigarette vapour increased the virulence of the bacteria, helping MRSA escape killing by antimicrobial peptides and macrophages, lead investigator Laura E Crotty Alexander said. She said the vapour did not make the bacteria as aggressive as cigarette smoke exposure did in studies her group conducted.
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