Dysentery bacteria discovery marks research breakthrough

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Researchers at INSERM in France recently discovered that Shigella, a
bacterium responsible for causing acute intestinal inflammation, destroys
our immune defences.

This is an important discovery as it is this bacterium that is responsible for bacillary dysentery – also known as shigellosis – which is one of the most severe forms of diarrhoeic disease.

Every year across the world, almost a million people die as a result of
diarrhoeic diseases, most of them children under the age of 5. The problem
most severe in sub-Saharan Africa. But now the team led by Philippe
Sansonetti has unmasked the strategies used by the Shigella bacterium to
counteract our antimicrobial protection.

The team is now conducting research to find treatments that will stimulate
our antimicrobial defences. This research programme offers new and
encouraging possibilities for treatment, not only for shigellosis but also
for many other infectious or inflammatory diseases of the intestine.

Destination Santé

Health file  The lack of education and political will, poverty, out-moded traditional beliefs, to mention but a few, have been widely blamed for causing severe and sometimes unwarranted health catastrophies of genocidal proportions on the African continent. Child killer diseases, malaria, tuberculosis, water borne diseases, HIV/AIDS, among other preventable ailments have killed millions in their wake. As rightly said by the former UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, on May 13, 2000 "More people (...) died of Aids in the past year (1999-2000, ndlr) in Africa than in all the wars on the continent".
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