Helicobacter pylori and its infection rate
Digestive system diseases are very common, and 90% of patients with gastritis or gastric ulcers are also infected with Helicobacter pylori. H. pylori plays such a significant role in ulcers that ulcer treatments often begin with H. pylori removal. Recent research has shown that H. pylori is also involved in gastric cancer.
In Japan about 80% of people over 60 are infected with H. pylori, and the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare recommends H. pylori eradication as the first step of treating gastritis and gastric ulcers. Currently this treatment consists of a combination of antibiotics and gastric acid suppressants, but recurrence of drug-resistant strains and side effects are a problem.
Urease function of H. pylori
Because the stomach contains gastric acid, it was thought that no bacteria could survive there. However, H. pylori uses an enzyme called urease to metabolize urea into carbon dioxide and ammonia, and this reaction neutralizes the gastric acid in its vicinity.
H. pylori secretes urease both inside and outside itself. The urease inside the bacterium has enzymatic activity and creates ammonia, but the role of the external urease, which lacks enzymatic activity, has been a mystery. Our research, however, has discovered that this external urease is an adhesion factor helping the bacterium adhere to the mucus layer of the stomach.
Our research group developed specific IgY against this urease and evaluated its effect against H. pylori infections in both experimental animals and human volunteers. We managed to demonstrate that the IgY could significantly reduce H. pylori load in stomach of animals and humans.
Diarrhea caused by Rotavirus
Rotavirus is the leading single etiologic agent of severe diarrhea amonginfants and young children worldwide during the first five years of life. It is responsible for over 500,000 deaths in infants and young children mostly in developing countries each year which represent approximately 5% of all deaths. Rotaviruses have also been implicated as causative agents of outbreaks of diarrhea occurring in nursing homes, among travelers, in day-care centers, and adults suffering from a variety of immunodeficiency conditions.
Approach by Anti-Rotavirus IgY
Conventional treatment for rotavirus diarrhea is non-specific, largely symptomatic and involves fluid and electrolyte replacement and maintenance of nutrition. The use of current vaccine regimens poses inherent limitations due to variable degrees of efficacy, and high cost.
Here we introduce our research data on using specific IgY for controlling rotavirus infections in humans and animals as well as recent progress in the field.
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