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coverFish sampled from a total of 291 streams across the United States of America between the years of 1998 and 2005 were found to contain levels of mercury higher than those deemed safe for human ingestion. The report published in a non peer reviewed journal – the US Geological Survey in August 2009 says that more than 2 thirds of the fish sampled contained levels of mercury that exceeded the Environment Protection Agency’s level of concern for the protection of fish eating mammals – including humans.

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S1931312809X00090_cov150hToxoplasmosis is generally a mild infection, but it can have serious and potentially fatal effects in pregnant women, their foetuses and others with weakened immune systems.

In mice, T gondii directly activates a specific immune protein in the host, called toll-like receptor 11 (TLR-11), which helps control the animals’ immune response to the parasite. Humans, however, don’t have an active form of this receptor. Exactly how the body senses T gondii has remained unclear because the parasite doesn’t activate any of the functioning toll-like receptors that humans do possess.

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plosCrohn’s diease is a chronic inflammatory disease of the gastrointestinal tract. Its exact cause is still to be elucidated but a mix of environmental and genetic factors are known to be important. In this study, investigators looked at identical twins microbial composition from their faecal material.

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helicobacterDr Rachel Olivier MS ND PhD describes the pathophysiology of the infection and explores the role of natural agents in the eradication and control of this ubiquitous organism.

In 1982, when this bacterium was discovered by Marshall and Warren, stress and lifestyle were considered the major causes of peptic ulcer disease. It is now firmly established that Helicobacter pylori causes more than 90% of duodenal ulcers and up to 80% of gastric ulcers. The link between Helicobacter pylori infection and subsequent gastritis and peptic ulcer disease has been established through studies of human volunteers, antibiotic treatment studies and epidemiological studies.

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cover_2009-08_thumbComment: The epidemiology of coeliac disease that once was thought to be in the rage of 1 in 10,000 is now known to be in the neighbourhood of 1 in 133, although not all individuals with the disease face the same set of symptoms that makes coeliac and other food-related conditions so dangerous and widespread.

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Dysbiosis refers to an imbalance of microflora, usually indicating an increase in abnormal or non commensal flora, with a coinciding decrease in commensal or normal flora. An increase in pathogenic bacteria, including Shigella flexneri and Salmonella enteritidis, opportunistic bacteria, including Klebsiella pneumoniae, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, and Clostridium difficile as well as yeasts, including Candida albicans in the lower bowel is typically associated with dysbiosis.

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BACKGROUND: Human herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6), Epstein-Barr virus and parvovirus B19 have been suggested as aetiological agents of chronic fatigue syndrome but none of these viruses is consistently detected in all patients. However, active viral infections may be localised in specific tissues, and, therefore, are not easily detectable. The aim of this study was to investigate the presence of HHV-6, HHV-7, EBV and parvovirus B19 in the gastro-intestinal tract of CFS patients.

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