Under-Cooked Chicken Could Cause Paralysis


Researchers have alerted the public that undercooked chicken could trigger a potentially fatal neurological condition that makes sufferers paralysed.

The warning came ahead of public preparation for the Yuletide, a season of celebration when millions of families cherish chickens as part of the delicacy consumed to celebrate both Christmas and the coming New Year.

These are the findings of a research published in the ‘Journal of Autoimmunity’. A common bacteria, ‘campylobacter jejuni’, which lurks in the raw flesh of chickens has been found to cause Guillain-Barre syndrome, GBS, a lifethreatening disorder where the body’s immune system attacks part of the peripheral nervous system. Early symptoms include feeling weak and experiencing tingling sensations in the legs.

‘Campylobacter jejuni’ infects more than a million people yearly in the United States, U.S and is also known to trigger other autoimmune disorders such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Reiter’s arthritis. Scientists at Michigan State University have shown how the bacteria triggers GBS, and hope that discovery will help formulate a cure.

If chicken isn’t cooked to a proper minimum internal temperature, harmful bacteria can remain, posing a threat, the UK Edition of ‘The Sun’ reported. It is well known that some bacteria in undercooked chicken can cause a nasty bout of food poisoning. But now, the evidence points to a far more important reason to ensure your chicken is cooked thoroughly.

Reacting to the development, Lead Author of the study, Professor Linda Mansfield, said: “What our work has told us is that it takes a certain genetic makeup combined with a certain campylobacter strain to cause this disease.

“The concerning thing is that many of these strains are resistant to antibiotics and our work shows that treatment with some antibiotics could actually make the disease worse.”

GBS is the leading cause of acute neuromuscular paralysis, yet the exact cause remains a mystery to experts. Prof. Mansfield and her team have created three preclinical models of GBS that represent two different forms of the syndrome seen in humans.


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Louis Ojibe

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