American Society for Microbiology Journals tipsheet: September 2002

September 18, 2002

Egg Yolk a Possible Alternative to Antibiotic Treatment of Ulcers

Antibodies from the egg yolks of immunized chickens may be an effective alternative to antibiotic treatment of Helicobacter pylori infections say Korean researchers in the September 2002 issue of the journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Laboratory Immunology.

In the study antibodies were extracted from egg yolks of immunized chickens and administered orally to Mongolian gerbils infected with H. pylori. The gerbils were then examined to determine if the antibodies were effective in decreasing damage to the stomach wall.

"The encouraging results of this study indicate that the immunoglobulin obtained from hens immunized by H. pylori may provide a novel approach to the management of H. pylori infections in humans."

(J.-H. Shin, M. Yang, S.W. Nam, J.T. Kim, N.A. Myung, W.-G. Bang, I.H. Roe. 2002. Use of egg yolk-derived immunoglobulin as an alternative to antibiotic treatment for control of Helicobacter pylori infection. Clinical and Diagnostic Laboratory Immunology, 9: 1061-1066.)



Infection with the bacteria Chlamydia pneumoniae alone is not sufficient to induce athersclerosis but must act in concert with an already existing high-fat, high-cholesterol diet, say researchers from the University of Washington. They report their findings in the September 2002 issue of the journal Infection and Immunity.

Previous studies have found that mice fed a high-fat, high cholesterol diet at the same time as infection experienced atherosclerotic lesions 3 times larger than uninfected mice. In this study the researchers initiated the high-fat, high cholesterol diet in the mice several weeks after infection with C. pneumoniae. They found no significant difference in atherosclerotic lesion formation in the infected mice versus the control mice.

"The present study further supports the hypothesis that C. pneumoniae is not an independent risk factor but acts in concert with hyperlipidemia to exacerbate atherosclerotic lesion formation," say the researchers.

(E. Blessing, L.A. Campbell, M.E. Rosenfeld, C.-C. Kuo. 2002. Chlamydia pneumoniae and hyperlipidemia are co-risk factors for atherosclerosis: Infection prior to induction of hyperlipidemia does not accelerate development of atherosclerotic lesions in C57BL/6J mice. Infection and Immunity, 70: 5332-5334.)



Some brands of chewing tobacco are contaminated with bacteria that can damage cells lining the inside of the mouth, say researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago. They report their findings in the September 2002 issue of the journal Clinical and Diagnostic Laboratory Immunology.

In the study, the researchers tested two popular brands of chewing tobacco and found them contaminated with five distinct species of Bacillus bacteria at relatively high levels. Additionally, they tested the effects of these bacteria on the cheek pouches of hamsters and found that they cause inflammation of the lining of the mouth.

"These data indicate that Bacillus species contaminate chewing tobacco commercially available in the United States and elaborate a potent exogenous virulence factor that injures the oral mucosa," say the researchers.

(I. Rubinstein and G.W. Pedersen. 2002. Bacillus species are present in chewing tobacco sold in the United States and evoke plasma exudation from the oral mucosa. Clinical and Diagnostic Laboratory Immunology, 9: 1057-1060.)

American Society for Microbiology

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