Mechanisms of Postinfectious Irritable Bowel Syndrome & Functional Disorders

Aguilera-Lizarraga, J., Florens, M.V., Viola, M.F. et al. Local immune response to food antigens drives meal-induced abdominal painNature (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-03118-2 (Thanks to Ben Gold’s twitter feed for this reference)

Background: “Up to 20% of people worldwide develop gastrointestinal symptoms following a meal, leading to decreased quality of life, substantial morbidity and high medical costs”

“Here we show that a bacterial infection and bacterial toxins can trigger an immune response that leads to the production of dietary-antigen-specific IgE antibodies in mice, which are limited to the intestine. Following subsequent oral ingestion of the respective dietary antigen, an IgE- and mast-cell-dependent mechanism induced increased visceral pain. This aberrant pain signaling resulted from histamine receptor H1-mediated sensitization of visceral afferents. Moreover, injection of food antigens (gluten, wheat, soy and milk) into the rectosigmoid mucosa of patients with irritable bowel syndrome induced local oedema and mast cell activation.”

My take: This study shows how innocuous food can trigger pain after an intestinal infection.

Related blog posts:

Food Safety Lecture–It is Still A Jungle Out There

Yesterday, I posted a blog that tried to summarize some of William Balistreri’s talk on Global Health.  He gave a 2nd Excellent Lecture on Food Safety at the Georgia AAP Nutrition Symposium.  One audience member suggested that this lecture was well-paired with the previous lecture as the awareness of food-borne illnesses might deter gluttony.

This lecture was packed with information regarding food safety; he highlighted the extensive and frequent food-borne illnesses.

Key points:

  • The problem of food-borne illness was put under a spotlight by Upton Sinclair in The Jungle (1906) which led to reforms in meat packing industry.  However, more work is needed
  • FSMA -Food Safety Modernization Act was signed into law in 2011; it’s aim is to create a proactive rather than reactive approach, Historic opportunity to increase food safety
  • Food-borne illnesses: 1 in 10 persons worldwide will be sick every year & leads to 1/2 million deaths worldwide each year.  125,000 deaths in children
  • Food-borne illnesses: 48 million cases in U.S. each year (CDC estimates) and 3000 deaths (MMWR 64:2, 2015)
  • Besides significant mortality rates for food-borne illnesses, they also contribute to post-infectious irritable bowel syndrome (~13% of all cases) and these illnesses can be indefinite
  • Social media, including “IwasPoisoned.com” and Yelp, will likely help identify outbreaks more quickly.  Newer molecular technologies during food processing has the potential to improve food safety.

Resources:

  • For those who want to keep up food-borne illnesses, Dr. Balistreri recommended food safety news, which provides daily emails. Link to subscribe: Food Safety News
  • Two books that were recommended: The Poison Squad by Deborah Blum and Outbreak by Timothy Lytton
  • The CDC has plenty of advice and a useful pamphlet regarding the key 4 steps with food preparation: Clean, Separate, Cook, Chill. https://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/keep-food-safe.html
  • Another resource: FoodSafety.gov

Link to full talk slides PDF: FOOD SAFETY (10-10-19)  I have placed about 20 slides below which summarize much of the information that he conveyed.