If meat stays on the counter too long, we all know we have to throw it away. But what about rice or pasta?
Although this quality may seem harmless after a while on the bench, you'll probably think twice as soon as you learn about the bacterium Bacillus cereus . 19659003]
It is not a particularly rare germ. B. cereus will live happily wherever he can – soil, food or gut.
"The well-known natural habitats of B. Cereus are extensive, including soil, animals, insects, dust and plants," said Anukriti Mathur, biotechnology researcher at the Australian National University, told Science Alert.
"Bacteria multiply using nutrients from food products [..] including rice, dairy, spices, dried foods, and vegetables."
Some strains of this bacterium are helpful for probiotics, but others can lead to a malignant infection with food poisoning if they have the ability to grow and multiply, such as storing food under false conditions
The worst scenarios can even lead to death.
In 2005, such a case was listed in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology ̵
According to the case study On a Friday, pasta salad was prepared and brought to a picnic on Saturday. After they returned from the picnic, it was kept in the fridge until Monday night when the kids fed it for dinner.
The children started vomiting that night and were hospitalized. Tragically, the youngest child died; another suffered from liver failure, but survived, and the others had less severe food poisoning and could be treated with fluids.
B. cereus is a known cause of food-borne diseases, but infections with this organism are not widely reported because of its mostly mild symptoms, "the researchers explain.
" A deadly case due to liver failure after the consumption of pasta salad is described and shows the possible severity.
Deaths are mercifully rare, they have been mentioned more than once in the literature, and this week the news highlighted another old case from 2011 involving a 20-year-old student in Belgium, the He cooked his pasta five days earlier and would heat it together with sauce, on which day he mistakenly chose his food for an indefinite one He died later that night after diarrhea, abdominal pain, and severe vomiting.
In response to this case study, two more cases of young people suffering from liver failure were highlighted B died cereus – An 11-year-old died after eating Chinese noodles and a 17-year-old who died after he died four days old spaghetti had eaten.
Well, before you abjure the pasta for life, we must stress that most people who are ill with B are. Cereus does not suffer from liver failure. Usually this is a pretty mild case of food poisoning.
"It is important to note that B. cereus can cause severe and fatal conditions, such as sepsis, in immunocompromised individuals, infants, the elderly, and pregnant women," says Mathur.
"[Most] affected individuals become better over time without treatment, these individuals do not go to the doctor for a diagnosis," and therefore they are accused.
But how can food poisoning be so severe, and can we do anything?
B. Cereus has a bad habit of secreting dangerous toxins into food. Some of these poisons are really hard to kill with the heat your normal microwave would deliver. For example, one of the toxins that cause vomiting in humans (termed an emetic toxin) can withstand 121 ° C (250 ° F) for 90 minutes. And that's not the only poison you can find in his arsenal.
"Our immune system recognizes a toxin secreted by B. Cereus that causes an inflammatory response," explains Mathur.
"Our research shows that the toxin ablates and breaks holes in the cell, causing cell death and inflammation."
Your team also identified two pathways We can help the body neutralize the action of Hemolysin BL and stop the death march of B. Cereus . The methods involve either blocking the activity of the toxin or reducing the inflammation it causes.
Although their approach is still in the early stages of research, the team hopes that these techniques could even be used in other toxin-producing bacteria such as E. coli .
Above all, keep your food in the fridge and look for good kitchen hygiene.
"In addition, cooking food scraps will destroy most bacteria and their toxins."
The research was published in Nature Microbiology .