Salmonella is a common bacteria often called “food poisoning.” In some cases, antibiotics are needed to keep an infection from spreading. New research has developed a treatment that can be an alternative to antibiotic use.

Salmonella is not an Omega-Rich Fish

Salmonella is a bacteria that was named after an American scientist, Dr. Salmon, over a century ago. It is a food-borne illness that causes diarrhea, stomach cramps, and fever. The symptoms usually begin somewhere between 12 and 72 hours after ingesting the contaminated food.
Over one million cases of Salmonella are reported each year in the US. Experts believe, realistically, there are over 20 million; they’re just not all reported. You cannot tell if food is contaminated by looking at it. Eggs, meats, produce, and nuts are all susceptible to becoming tainted.

A Word on Eggs…

It used to be, before the 1970’s, that eggs shells would become contaminated from chicken feces. Since then, eggs must be thoroughly cleaned and inspected, which diminished the eggshell-Salmonella-problem. Now, however, the bacteria can be inside grade “A” eggs. Hens’ ovaries contract Salmonella, so the egg actually contains the bacteria before the shell is even formed.

Research to the Rescue!

A team of scientists from UC Irvine and MIT have tested a treatment that allows the body to create new antibodies that fight Salmonella infection. The new antibodies attack the invading microbes. The scientists immunized lab mice with microbes that target salmonella and other bacterial molecules.
After two immunizations, the mice were injected with the bacteria. From the vaccine, antibodies were formed, which were found to decrease gut bacteria levels in the mice.

Antibiotics Vs. Alternate Treatments

Antibiotics can be lifesavers, but because of their overuse over the past decades, their ability to fight off some infections has weakened. Additionally, antibiotics kill off good antibodies as well as the sick ones. With this new treatment, the researchers are introducing an antibody strengthener without killing anything but the bad stuff. Scientists are hoping “this new approach may reduce the reliance on antibiotics.”

Avoiding Salmonella

Sometimes it will be impossible to avoid getting bit by the food poisoning bug. However, there are measures to lower your risk…

  • Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold
  • Never leave food sitting outside in temperature over 90 degrees for more than one hour. Two hours tops for cooler temps.
  • Clean utensils, bowls, and cutting boards with antibacterial soap or bleach. Keep your hands very clean while cooking and serving too.
  • Cook foods thoroughly; 160 degrees for ground meats and 165 degrees for poultry.

If you should experience Salmonella-like symptoms, remember to stay hydrated. Dehydration is one of the biggest dangers when suffering from diarrhea and fever. You may also want to read about E.coli bacteria, another common source of food poisoning— click here. And more articles on healthy living, feel free to peruse GetThrive!