People harboring ulcer causing bacterium in their stomach could be protected from some diarrheal illnesses, suggests an Israeli research. The bacterium known as Helicobacter pylori is common particularly in the developing countries, but still cause symptoms in marginal of those it contaminates.
Some earlier studies had suggested that people suffering H. pylori infections were at increased risk of diarrhea, but how such contamination is associated with diarrheal diseases and the bacteria that cause them is still a topic of debate. A team led by Dani Cohen from Tel Aviv University in Isael carried out a study involving nearly six hundred Israeli soldiers.
One third of the soldiers visited a base clinic for diarrhea during their field training. The blood samples of all solders had been taken prior to start of the training, which was used to find out which solder was chronically infected with H. pylori.
They found that thirty to thirty-six percent of soldiers suffering diarrhea caused by different bacteria had been infected with H. pylori prior to training. In comparison about fifty-six percent of soldiers who had been infected with H. pylori prior to training never reported of diarrhea.
It was estimated that being infected with H. Pylori meant solders were sixty percent less prone to get diarrhea from the bacteria known as Shigella. Such people also had reduced chance of diarrhea caused by Escherichia coli bacteria. Dr Cohen added H. pylori infection may affect acidity of the gut and high acidity is known to keep disease-causing bacteria from settling there.
The study was published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases. Having overdrive immune system caused by chronic H. pylori infection could also help keep other bacteria in the digestive system at bay. Cohen concluded that the potential benefits of H. pylori infection appeared to be a reduced risk of asthma and esophagus cancer and now diarrheal diseases.