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Manganese May Have Potential in Neutralizing Deadly Shiga Toxin

Carnegie Mellon University researchers have discovered that an element commonly found in nature might provide a way to neutralize the potentially lethal effects of a compound known as Shiga toxin. New results published in the Jan. 20 issue of Science by Carnegie Mellon biologists Adam Linstedt and Somshuvra Mukhopadhyay show that 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.

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