Many infectious diseases are caused by bacteria, but a team of scientists found that the microorganisms could also increase the risk of spreading type 2 diabetes.
The new study was conducted by a team of researchers from the University of Iowa and suggests that exposing oneself to a Staphylococcus aureus toxin known as superantigens can damage an individual’s fat cells, disrupting the immune system.
When the immune system is vulnerable it causes system inflammation in the body.
Scientists found that when this inflammation occurs it makes the body resistant to insulin, which leads to other symptoms associated with type 2 diabetes.
Patrick Schlievert, an expert in microbiology at the University of Iowa, conducted a lab experiment of rabbits to determine if their body is affected by the superantigens.
According to the researchers, the longer the rabbits were exposed to the toxin, the more they started to develop symptoms similar to those of type 2 diabetes.
These symptoms include glucose intolerance, a higher level of endotoxin in the bloodstream and systemic inflammation.
Schlievert wrote in his study that with this experiment they were able to reproduce type 2 diabetes symptoms in the animals just by exposing them to the staphylococcus superantingen.
The new study suggests that therapies meant to eliminate the staph bacteria or destroy the superantigens produced by the microorganisms could also be used as a treatment for type 2 diabetes. The scientists believe that this type of treatment could also be used as a prevention treatment against type 2 diabetes.
Obesity, which is one of the most common risk factors that lead to diabetes, has been known to modify the bacterial ecosystem that lives in the human body.
According to the experts, it is possible that this alteration could severely disrupt the balance between the positive and the negative bacteria on the skin and digestive system of a person.
The study suggests that as people gain more and more weight, the increase the risk of being colonized by the staph bacteria.
Thus, individuals who are colonized by the staph bacteria are more likely to be exposed to the superantigens produced by these microorganisms.
The scientists analyzed the levels of staph bacteria on the skin of four diabetics.
They found that the level of superantigens produced by the bacteria was proportionate to the superantigens used on rabbits used in the experiment that developed type 2 diabetes symptoms.
The findings of the new study were published in the journal mBio.
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