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How gut keeps bacteria from escaping

How gut keeps bacteria from escaping
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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...

London: 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. 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.

They found that a small molecule called "PGE2" plays a crucial role by activating specialised immune cells called innate lymphoid cells. These cells help to maintain the barrier between the gut and the rest of the body. If "PGE2" is blocked or doesn't function correctly, these cells are not activated and the gut barrier breaks down allowing bacteria to escape.

The findings could lead to new approaches for preventing whole-body infections which can be life threatening if they are not caught early.

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