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Common metal wipes out deadly toxin

An element commonly found in nature might be a way to neutralize the potentially lethal effects of a compound known as Shiga toxin..

Published in the journal Science, a new study shows how manganese completely protects against Shiga toxicosis in animal models. Produced by certain bacteria, including Shigella and some strains of E. coli, Shiga toxin can cause symptoms ranging from mild intestinal disease to kidney failure.

The new findings could pave the way for future research aimed at creating an inexpensive treatment for infections caused by bacteria that produce the lethal Shiga toxin. Currently there is no treatment for the infection that afflicts more than 150 million people each year, resulting in more than one million deaths worldwide.

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