A team from Nottingham, England, investigated the relationship between Campylobacter toxigenicity and the development of postinfectious irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Campylobacter enteritis is associated with a significant risk of developing IBS, but the mechanism is unknown.
The researchers ascertained bowel symptoms in 93 patients, 3 months after Campylobacter jejuni enteritis infection.
The infecting organisms were cultured. The effects of culture supernatants on toxin-sensitive epithelial cell monolayers (HEp-2, Green monkey kidney epithelial [Vero], and CHO-K1) were investigated.
|Campylobacter toxigenicity important in predicting long-term bowel symptoms.
|Journal of Infectious Diseases|
In all, 50, 43, and 41 of the isolates showed toxigenic effects on HEp-2, CHO-K1, and Vero cells, respectively.
Persistently changed bowel habit was reported by 9 of 50 persons with HEp-2 toxinpositive infections, but by only 2 of 43 with isolates negative for toxin
Furthermore, toxicity to HEp-2 and Vero cells was associated with significantly increased numbers of days with loose stools 6 months after C. jejuni enteritis infection.
Jonathan P. Thornley, of the Pathology Department, University Hospital, Nottingham, concluded on behalf of his colleagues, "Long-term symptoms that occur after Campylobacter infection are significantly associated with bacterial toxicity."