The presence of certain bacteria are suspected to be the cause of Type 2 diabetes in patients. Thus prophylactic measures must include anti-bacterial drugs and preventative injections in the future.
While bacteria and viruses are the usual suspects in contagious ailments such as malaria and typhoid, they also play a role in more complex diseases such as certain cancers and ulceration. They may even be responsible for causing Type 2 diabetes, a common malady of the late capitalist, high civilization era we are living in currently.
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It has been found that extended attenuation to a particularly toxic element released by a strain of Staphylococcus bacteria causes Type 2 diabetes in lagomorphs. Among the symptoms were resistance to insulin, glucose intolerant behavior and marked inflammatory signs.
What the researchers created was a classic case of Type 2 diabetes in rabbits via exposure to an antigen. Thus the moral of the story is that by doing away with Staphylococcus bacteria, Type 2 diabetes can be reduced among those populations afflicted with the scourge. Whether the same goes for humans is a moot point though. It is a long way on the evolutionary ladder from bunny rabbits to human beings.
"What we are finding is that as people gain weight, they are increasingly likely to be colonized by staph bacteria - to have large numbers of these bacteria living on the surface of their skin," says research team leader Patrick Schlievert, PhD, professor and DEO of microbiology at the UI Carver College of Medicine. "People who are colonized by staph bacteria are being chronically exposed to the superantigens the bacteria are producing."
Being significantly overweight does increase the chances of contracting Type 2 diabetes. One of the reasons is that obesity changes the gut bacteria to the extent that they are vastly different in their makeup from the gut bacteria of a thin person.
As an individual piles on the pounds and develops a beer belly, his body also accumulates Staphylococcus bacteria. The further effects of the bacteria include a logjam of the immune system and many other resulting complications which any fat person can relate to.
The antigens and toxins connive with the adipose tissue to create inflammation on a massive scale. The Staphylococcus bacteria samples taken from the skin surfaces of Type 2 diabetics show this as clear evidence of the new hypothesis. And it is precisely this finding which may lead to the creation of special therapies and vaccination methods to counter Type 2 diabetes in the near future.
Even a gel may be used that will erase any signs of the bacteria thereby providing relief and succour to diabetics. The finding spells a brighter future for the victims of this “sweet sickness”. The normal death sentence of living a life hooked on insulin shots with a host of unpleasant symptoms may be something that will thankfully change when the time comes in the years ahead.
"I think we have a way to intercede here and alter the course of diabetes," Schlievert says. "We are working on a vaccine against the superantigens and we believe that this type of vaccine could prevent the development of Type 2 diabetes."
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The study is published in the journal mBio.