Some benign Salmonella infections, which do not require treatment, can actually have devastating long-term effects on our intestines. This is the conclusion of a study conducted over 8 years.
From small food poisoning to deadly chronic intestinal inflammation, there is not a single step, but there is a real link. According to a study published by the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Disease Institute in the journal Science, repetitive infections can indeed cause colitis (inflammatory bowel or colon disease) that can be fatal.
However, initial food poisoning may not require treatment and self-care. At first, nothing serious.
A "progressive" and "irreversible" disease
"We observed the appearance of a progressive and irreversible inflammatory disease caused by the repetition of previous infections, which was quite surprising (...)," said Won Ho Yang, one of the authors of the study.
Progressive, and for good reason. The study lasted nearly eight years. The researchers developed a model of human food poisoning in healthy mice.
Each mouse received a dose of type bacteria Salmonella, responsible for salmonellosis, one of the main infectious diseases of food origin. The dose of salmonella was very low. No symptoms, no danger of death. However, inflammation appeared and increased in all mice over the course of repeated poisoning. All, without exception.
The researchers also found that even by stopping the cause of these infections, the inflammation did not disappear. The damage was done. The inflammatory disease of the colon and intestine was launched.
More infections than we think
Where researchers are worried is that they estimate the number of this type of mild salmonella infection much greater than it seems.
Very often without much consequence, and settled in one or two days, a salmonella food poisoning does not necessarily result in a visit to the doctor.
Many cases are never diagnosed. And some people multiply infections, without realizing the consequences on their colon, or their gut.
This discovery, worrying but major, could shed light on other inflammations, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis. Their origins are still unknown.