Main Category: GastroIntestinal / Gastroenterology
Also Included In: Cancer / Oncology; Infectious Diseases / Bacteria / Viruses; Immune System / Vaccines
Article Date: 03 Sep 2013 - 8:00 PDT
Gut bacteria may cause cancer by disarming immune system
|Patient / Public:|
New research presented at a conference this week suggests a common stomach bacterium with known links to duodenal ulcers and stomach cancer may trigger disease by disarming a part of the immune system that is involved in controlling inflammation.
Strong evidence from epidemiological research - studies that look at incidence of disease and possible causes in populations - and evidence from molecular studies has led to the idea that bacteria can cause cancer.
One of these pathogens is Helicobacter pylori, a bacterium that establishes a life-long infection in humans and is estimated to inhabit the stomach lining of around half the world's population.
At the Society for General Microbiology Autumn Conference 2013, which is taking place this week, researchers from the University of Nottingham in the UK presented findings that they hope will give us a clearer understanding of how H. pylori interferes with the human immune system so it can thrive in the mucosal lining of the stomach.
Katie Cook, from Nottingham's Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences, presented the work and says:
"To identify people who are likely to suffer from stomach cancer, we need to understand how H.