Protein In Saliva Can Prevent Traveller's Diarrhoea; 5 Dietary Tips To Follow For Safe Travel

Researchers have identified a protein in human saliva that can protect the body from the bacterium that is responsible for causing traveller's diarrhoea.

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Protein In Saliva Can Prevent Traveller's Diarrhoea; 5 Dietary Tips To Follow For Safe Travel

Highlights

  1. A protein in saliva that prevents bacteria from sticking to intestine.
  2. The research by US scientists will be used for therapies.
  3. While travelling, never eat food that's stale or has been sitting out.
Traveller's diarrhoea is an illness that is characterized by passing more than three watery stools within a period of 24 hours. In severe cases, affected people may have as many as 10 bowel motions per day. Some more common symptoms of the condition include abdominal cramps and sometimes fever, nausea and vomiting. The most common cause for the disease is the enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC). Researchers have now identified a protein in human saliva that can protect the body from the bacterium.

The findings of the research conducted by US scientists and published in The Journal Of Infectious Diseases may lead to development of better preventive therapies for the disease. Talking about the incidence of this sometimes fatal disease worldwide, a report in the journal said, "Diarrheal disease from enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) causes significant worldwide morbidity and mortality in young children residing in endemic countries and is the leading cause of traveler's diarrhoea."

The report further talked about the 'salivary peptide' histatin-5 that is the protein that is able to prevent the bacteria from adhering to intestinal walls. This successfully prevents the infection in the body. The journal report says that the way the protein acts is by stiffening the bacteria's arm-like structures called pili, so that they are unable to attach to the walls of the intestine.

"Our data represent the first report of a salivary component exerting specific antimicrobial activity against an enteric pathogen and suggest that histatin-5 and related peptides might be exploited for prophylactic and/or therapeutic uses", wrote the authors in The Journal Of Infectious Diseases.

The disease is typically caused when some one travels to another country where the chances of food and water being un-clean are more. Therefore, it's extremely important to take care of what one eats and drinks, in order to prevent contracting the disease.

Here are some diet tips to prevent tarveller's diarrhoea:

1. Do not consume tap water. The disease-causing pathogens and bacteria might be present in un-treated water or water that has been sitting out for some time.

2. Make sure all the fresh produce is well-cooked or at least washed and peeled with clean water.

3. Avoid eating foods from street vendors who look unhygienic or who don't practice even basic hygiene like using gloves, cleaning the workstation, etc.

4. Wash hands before and after eating every single meal. This is extremely important in cases of infants or small kids. Make sure to wipe their hands clean after they touch un-clean things.

5. Eat only hot, freshly cooked meals. Heat kills bacteria which often tend to come back once the food is stale. Never eat food that has been sitting out.

It's always advisable to consult your physician before heading off to a country which you suspect will expose you to harmful bacteria. Carry a first aid kit that has antibiotics and immunity medicines recommended by the physician.

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