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Tips from the Journals of the American Society for Microbiology: July 2001

ANTACIDS MAY INCREASE SUSCEPTIBILITY TO OYSTER-ASSOCIATED DISEASE

If you pop antacids you may be more susceptible to disease from eating raw oysters, say researchers from the Food and Drug Administration's Gulf Coast Seafood Laboratory. They report their results in the July 2001 issue of the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Using a simulated gastric environment, the researchers found that antacids significantly increased the survival rate of Vibrio vulnificus. Most commonly found in marine waters of the U.S. Gulf Coast, V. vulnificus has the highest case fatality rate of all the foodborne diseases in the United States, and is commonly contracted by ingesting tainted oysters.

In order to cause disease, though, the bacteria must first survive the highly acidic environment of the stomach, and it is the use of antacids that may help these bacteria get past the stomach and to the intestines where they can cause disease.

"Presence of antacid in the gastric compartment of the model greatly increased the ability of both V. vulnificus and its phage to survive simulated gastroinestinal transit and may be a factor involved with oyster-associated illness," say the researchers.

(J. Koo, D.L. Marshall and A. DePaola. Antacid increases survival of Vibrio vulnificus and Vibrio vulnificus phage in a gastrointestinal model. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 67: 2895-2902.)

BAN ON ANTIBIOTIC USE IN DENMARK LOWERS RESISTANCE IN FOOD ANIMALS

Five years after the country of Denmark began banning the use of antibiotics as growth promoters in food animals, resistance rates of bacteria to these antibiotics have fallen significantly, suggesting that it is possible to reduce resistance by curbing antibiotic use in food production.

Researchers from the Danish Veterinary Laboratory in Copenhagen report the results of their research in the July 2001 issue of the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemothe
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Contact: Jim Sliwa
jsliwa@asmusa.org
202-942-9297
American Society for Microbiology
11-Jul-2001


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