As a comedian in all seriousness: What happens when B. cereus invades human cells

Tegan Taylor of ABC asks, what’s happening inside your body when you have food poisoning?

Research published today has given us a slightly clearer idea, at least for one type of bacteria.

A team from the Australian National University looked at the way the body responds to the bacteria Bacillus cereus, which can cause food poisoning and sometimes lead to serious infections elsewhere in the body, including sepsis, pneumonia and meningitis.

They found a toxin secreted by the bacteria binds directly to cells in the human body and punches holes in the cells to kill them, triggering an immune response.

Understanding the way toxins produced by this bacteria provoke inflammation in the body is a key to understanding how to treat it, said lead researcher Anukriti Mathur.

“Our immune system acts as a double-edged sword in these kinds of cases,” Ms Mathur said.

“In certain cases where you’ve got a bacterial infection it would be really essential to boost our immune system so that it is stronger.

“However in cases such as sepsis, where you’ve got unwanted inflammation happening in your body, you want to dampen the inflammatory responses.

“A very unique balance is required in protecting us against different kinds of infections.”

But what is it about this bacteria punching holes in your cells that leaves you hunched over a toilet bowl?

It has to do with the parts of your nervous system being targeted by the toxins produced by the bacteria, according to Vincent Ho, a University of Western Sydney gastroenterologist and researcher who was not involved in the study.

Bacillus cereus produces more than 12 different toxins. One triggers vomiting and another diarrhea, Dr Ho explained.

The vomit-inducing toxin, called cereulide, binds to serotonin receptors in the stomach and small bowel and stimulates the vagus nerve, which controls muscle movement in the gut.

“That signals back up to the vomiting centres of the brain,” he said.

“And in a very similar way that is how the diarrheal form also works too. It’s causing direct stimulation of the small bowel, and that’s triggering a reactive response of reflex mechanism called the gastro-colic reflex.

“The toxins are stimulating against receptors in the gut lining … triggering a lot more movement of the muscle in the gut and the colon.”

Bacillus cereus can be found in vegetables, rice and pasta, as well as meat and fish, and will grow in these foods if they are stored at the wrong temperature.

Own it: Amy Schumer is still barfing in pregnancy

Amy Schumer‘s ongoing pregnancy with severe nausea is following the comedian into the second trimester of her pregnancy — and she shared it with fans in her second graphic vomiting video on Saturday.

Back in November, Schumer, 37, was hospitalized for hyperemesis gravidarum — a condition marked by persistent sickness and can lead to dehydration and weight loss.

According to People the health crisis caused the I Feel Pretty star to postpone dates on her comedy tour. And though she’s since returned to the stage and powered through, her vomiting hasn’t stopped.

On Saturday, Schumer posted an Instagram video of her getting sick over a toilet. “Hi I thought it might be fun to see me throwing up in a public bathroom,” she said.

Sorta like this food safety asshole (upper right).

Clemson researchers target vomit cleanup methods in new norovirus research

Ever since that time in 2008 when one of Amy’s French students barfed in class, we’ve sorta been obsessed with, what is the proper way to clean up barf?

Especially if norovirus is involved.

The previous story gives an idea of just how infectious this stuff is.

Two Clemson researchers who are working with the federal government to combat stomach bug outbreaks among the elderly are convinced that advancements in this field could be lifesaving. 

Clemson University professors Angela Fraser and Xiuping Jiang catered their new norovirus research project to the needs of residents in long-term care facilities.

“I just think that those of us who are fortunate need to look out for those who are vulnerable,” Fraser said. “And this is a vulnerable population.”

One of the main goals of their new project, which recently received more than $1 million in funding from the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, is to come up with easy-to-implement, cost-efficient and effective vomit cleanup procedures for soft surfaces. The hope is that this will directly combat the high percentage of norovirus outbreaks in long-term care facilities and places with similar environments. 

The study, which has funding for three years, will be done in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Emory University and the University of Illinois-Chicago.

In past studies on proper vomit cleanup, Fraser and Jiang learned that there were gaps in the research, particularly when it came to the proper disinfectant to use on soft services to prevent the spread of diseases.

Chlorine bleach, the most commonly used disinfectant, mainly worked on hard surfaces and could rarely be used on soft surfaces like carpets and couches. One of the areas they realized could benefit the most from this information was long-term care facilities. 

“Long-term facilities want to create a very homelike environment, so they have lots of carpet around in comparison to hospitals and other environments,” Jiang said.

They also, of course, tend to have a high number of older adults.

“That’s people’s living environment,” Fraser said. “Do you really want people to be living where everything is just cinder block or smooth walls?”

She said because older patients are more likely to have chronic diseases, their immune systems are typically weakened as well. This means that when these older adults get infected with diseases like the norovirus, there can be a more severe expression of the disease compared to someone younger. Because of all of these factors, some view the study as even more imperative.

 

Multiple modes of transmission during a Thanksgiving Day Norovirus outbreak, 2017

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports on November 28, 2017, the manager of restaurant A in Tennessee reported receiving 18 complaints from patrons with gastrointestinal illness who had dined there on Thanksgiving Day, November 23, 2017. Tennessee Department of Health officials conducted an investigation to confirm the outbreak, assess exposures, and recommend measures to prevent continued spread.

On November 23, one patron vomited in a private dining room, and an employee immediately used disinfectant spray labeled as effective against norovirus* to clean the vomitus. After handwashing, the employee served family-style platters of food and cut pecan pie. For the November 23 Thanksgiving Day, restaurant A served 676 patrons a limited menu from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. The manager provided contact information, seating times, and seating locations for 114 patrons with reservations. All patrons with contact information were telephoned, and a questionnaire was used to assess illness and exposures for anyone living in the household who ate at restaurant A on November 23. Stool specimens were requested from ill patrons. Among the 676 patrons, 137 (20%) were enrolled in a case-control study.

A probable case was defined as diarrhea (three or more loose stools in 24 hours) or vomiting within 72 hours of eating at restaurant A on November 23; probable cases with norovirus RNA detected in a stool specimen by real-time reverse transcription–polymerase-chain reaction (RT-PCR) were considered confirmed. On November 30, environmental swabs for norovirus testing were collected in the restaurant. Patient and environmental samples were tested by real-time RT-PCR and sequenced at the Tennessee State Public Health Laboratory.

Thirty-six (26%) case-patients (two confirmed and 34 probable) and 101 (74%) controls were enrolled in the case-control study. Illness onsets occurred during November 23–25, with 17 of 35 (49%) cases occurring on November 24. The mean incubation period was 31 hours (range = 2.5–54.5 hours), and the mean illness duration was 3 days (range = 0–6 days). Only one case-patient sought medical care. Diarrhea was reported by 33 (94%) case-patients, fatigue by 29 (83%), nausea and abdominal cramps by 28 (80%), vomiting by 24 (69%), and fever by six (17%).

Among menu items, only pecan pie was significantly associated with illness (odds ratio [OR] = 2.6; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.1–5.8); however, it was eaten by only 16 (47%) of 34 case-patients. The vomiting event occurred around noon; patrons seated during 11 a.m.–1 p.m. were significantly more likely to become ill than were patrons seated during other times (OR = 6.0; 95% CI = 2.6–15.3). No significant differences between dining locations (i.e., private dining room versus general seating) were identified (OR = 1.4; 95% CI = 0.4–4.3). Logistic regression was used to evaluate the effects of eating pecan pie, seating time, and seating location; only seating time during 11 a.m.–1 p.m. remained statistically significant (OR = 6.0; 95% CI = 2.2–16.5).

Stool specimens from two case-patients identified Norovirus GII.P16-GII.4 Sydney. Norovirus GII was identified in one environmental swab collected from the underside of a table leg adjacent to the vomitus.

A point-source norovirus outbreak occurred after an infected patron vomited in a restaurant. Transmission near the vomiting event likely occurred by aerosol or fomite. Norovirus spread throughout the restaurant could have occurred by aerosol, person-to-person, fomite, or foodborne routes. Inadequate employee handwashing likely facilitated foodborne transmission through servings of pecan pie.

In hospital settings, CDC and the Tennessee Department of Health recommend contact precautions (e.g., gloves and gowns) when personnel have contact with vomitus (1). Similarly, the Food and Drug Administration’s 2017 Food Code recommends restaurants have a written plan detailing when and how employees should use personal protective equipment for cleaning vomitus (2). Reinforcing the need for proper handwashing and performing thorough environmental cleaning with appropriate personal protective equipment in food service establishments can prevent or mitigate future outbreaks.

Acknowledgments

Teresa Vantrease, Jana Tolleson, Tiffany Rugless, Lee Wood, Anita Bryant-Winton, Heather Mendez, Jeannette Dill, Alan Pugh, Jason Pepper, Katie Nixon, Marcy McMillian, Jane Yackley; FoodCORE Interview Team; staff members from restaurant A.

Corresponding author: Julia Brennan, JBrennan@cdc.gov, 615-253-9971.

1Epidemic Intelligence Service, CDC; 2Division of Scientific Education and Professional Development, CDC; 3Communicable and Environmental Diseases and Emergency Preparedness, Tennessee Department of Health; 4Department of Health Policy, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee.

All authors have completed and submitted the ICMJE form for disclosure of potential conflicts of interest. William Schaffner reports personal fees from Pfizer, Merck, Dynavax, Seqirus, SutroVax, and Shionogi, outside the submitted work. No other potential conflicts of interest were disclosed.

* Active ingredients = n-Alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chlorides and n-Alkyl dimethyl ethylbenzyl ammonium chlorides.

The barf museum in Sweden

Maura Judkis of The Washington Post writes buy a ticket to the Disgusting Food Museum in Malmo, Sweden, and it won’t be printed on a slip of paper.

“Your ticket is a vomit bag with our logo,” said Samuel West, the museum’s founder. It’s a joke, but not really: Somewhere between the exhibit on the world’s stinkiest cheese and the free samples of fermented shark meat, someone’s stomach may turn. But, then again, the noni, an Asian fruit nicknamed the “vomit fruit,” is one of the displays. So visitors will already be acclimated to some pretty terrible smells.

Welcome to the world’s first exhibition devoted to foods that some would call revolting. The museum’s name and its contents are pretty controversial — one culture’s disgusting is another culture’s delicacy. That goes for escamoles, the tree-ant larvae eaten in Mexico, or shirako, the cod sperm eaten in Japan, or bird’s nest soup, a Chinese dish of nests made from bird saliva. The name is meant to grab visitors’ attention, but that’s the point that West says he’s trying to make: Disgust is a cultural construct.

“I want people to question what they find disgusting and realize that disgust is always in the eye of the beholder,” said West. “We usually find things we’re not familiar with disgusting, versus things that we grow up with and are familiar with are not disgusting, regardless of what it is.”

For example: Though the museum is in Sweden, he includes surströmming, an incredibly pungent fermented Swedish herring, and salt licorice, which is found throughout the Nordic nations.

Celebrity barf: Chrissy Teigen, Marilyn Manson, Frank Clark

From the celebrity barf files of the past two months, which are always blamed on food poisoning, but usually aren’t, we begin with Chrissy Teigen‘s introduction to her daughter’s new teachers, which didn’t go so well.

The supermodel revealed on Twitter that she vomited all over the place.

“Hello everyone from Luna’s school orientation today,” Teigen, 32, shared on Twitter on Monday. “I’m sorry I projectile puked caffeine upon arrival, couldn’t open my eyes and had the noisiest newborn in the room. (Not a joke, very sorry, see you tomorrow).”

She reiterated that her temporary sickness had nothing to with first-day-of-school jitters, but everything to do with what she ate the night before.

“It was last night’s wine and Korean BBQ and jet lag combo,” she quipped.

Alice Cooper impersonator Marilyn Manson cut short his performance Saturday night (August 18) at Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion in The Woodlands, Texas due to a reported case of “food poisoning.”

According to HoustonPress, Manson’s tour manager escorted photographers from the pit prior to the start of the shock rocker’s concert, explaining that the singer was feeling very ill and did not want his picture taken. Manson “gave it his all” during the four-song set even though he was “mostly stationary and visibly shaking at times.” Upon finishing “Sweet Dreams”, Manson “collapsed on top of one of the monitors,” the site reported. “

And Seattle Seahawks’ Frank Clark was expected to play according to head coach Pete Carroll. He has missed the last two practices due to food poisoning, although he didn’t go into detail on what Clark ate that rendered him ill. Clark says he’s playing.

Seattle lost, 33-31.

Stickshifts? Uber driver arrested for stabbing 2 passengers for vomiting in her car

An Uber driver from Augusta, Georgia has been charged with two counts of aggravated assault after allegedly stabbing two passengers, the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office tells People.

On Sunday, 29-year-old Shaunisha Danielle Brown was arrested after she allegedly stabbed two of her passengers after someone threw up in her car, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

Passenger Daniel Millard, who was using the rideshare with two other female passengers, told WRDW-TV it was just your average ride until Brown allegedly got offended by something one of the riders said, rather than one of them getting sick.

“The Uber driver showed up we all get in. Everything is fine and dandy. We are like we’re going home. Great,” Miller told the television station.

“She went down another wrong road and Amber just said, ‘Just get us where we are going please,’ and the driver got offended by that I’ll take it,” Millard explained.

Millard then said Brown allegedly made an abrupt stop and yelled, “What did you say to me?”

“Then, Amber said ‘just get us home please,’” Millard told WRDW-TV. “Then Amber said ‘we paid 100% for the ride so we want 100% of the ride.’ [Brown] slammed on her breaks again, and she said she doesn’t need this, ‘get out of my vehicle.’ Amber is still demanding ‘please take us to our house, please take us to our house,’” Millard continued.

Authorities claim “the women were intoxicated, and one began to vomit in the car,” and that’s what allegedly prompted Brown to get physical.

According to the Augusta Chronicle, Brown attempted to kick the riders out, but when they didn’t oblige she allegedly pulled out an X-Acto knife and stabbed the women multiple times. Millard was not harmed.

 

Milwaukee Brewers pitcher vomits twice, stays in game

Baseball is so boring I would barf too (soccer is worse, and it’s next).

Craig Counsell played 16 seasons in the big leagues and has served as the Milwaukee Brewers’ manager for the past four, but he hasn’t seen anything like this.

Brewers relief pitcher Adrian Houser vomited twice near the mound during the eighth inning of the Brewers’ 10-9 loss against the Philadelphia Phillies. Counsell checked on him after both instances, giving the pitcher a bottle of water after the first bout, but the 25-year-old hurler stayed in the game.

Earlier in the day, the Brewers promoted Houser from Triple-A Colorado Springs. The game marked his fifth appearance in the big leagues.

“For Adrian today, it was just kind of a combination of a bunch of factors,” Counsell said. “He wasn’t under the weather at all, but it was an early wake-up call, not enough food, heat, probably a little nerves from getting to the big leagues today.

Phillies manager Gabe Kapler tipped his cap to the rookie.

“I have a lot of respect for anybody who would step behind the mound and throw up and step back on the mound and pitch,” Kapler said.

It’s called barfblog.com for a reason: Ireland flight passenger tells how drunk passenger vomited all over his head and laptop

A passenger on board a Ryanair flight has shared his story of a nasty booze-filled disturbance involving another customer.

Speaking to RTE Radio One’s Liveline, Conor Lyden revealed the grim details of how another passenger puked on him and his laptop – all while in mid-air.

The incident occurred on a Ryanair flight to Malaga from Cork.

A passenger, in his late 20s to early 30s, had become “heavily intoxicated” – and despite a delay before takeoff – his antics only worsened as the trip went on.

Conor went on to explain his disappointment towards the Ryanair staff in both the build and aftermath of the incident.

He said: “I was heading away on a family holiday with my parents and my brother.

“I noticed that one passenger, in particular, was heavily intoxicated.

The flight took off despite the man causing a delay with his behaviour

“This passenger tried to bring two glasses of vodka and mixer on to the plane and he was told he wasn’t allowed to bring them on by the staff at the gate but he was allowed to just knock them back there and then.

“This particular passenger was very disruptive, shouting and intimidating other passengers.

“A lot of other passengers complained. I was sitting a couple of seats in front of him at this point.

“I think a lot of people thought he was going to be kicked off the plane, he was quite drunk.”

He came stumbling up the aisle behind me and vomited all over my head and down my front and on to my open laptop

Despite receiving a warning from staff, the passenger continued to consume alcohol they had purchased prior to boarding before covering Conor in vomit.

“Ryanair staff had some baby wipes and hand sanitizer, that was all they could give me. I didn’t have a change of clothes because they take your bag off you.

“So I had to sit there for two hours like that.

“As the largest airline in Europe, Ryanair’s number one priority is the safety of our customers, crew and aircraft and has a zero tolerance policy towards alcohol and disruptive behaviour.

“Ryanair does not allow ‘intoxicated’ passengers onboard our aircraft. We operate strict guidelines for the carriage of customers who are disruptive or appear to be under the influence of alcohol.

“It’s completely unfair that airports can profit from the unlimited sale of alcohol to passengers and leave the airlines to deal with the safety consequences.

Uh-huh.

That smell: Transavia ‘passenger’s body odour caused others to vomit and faint’

Keeping with the aeronautical theme, Belgian broadcaster VRT reports a passenger on a Transavia flight smelt so bad that other passengers started fainting and vomiting after the flight took off from Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport,.

Staff on board the Transavia jet reportedly tried to quarantine him in a toilet before the pilot diverted the flight.

The Boeing 737 is said to have landed in the city of Faro, in the Algarve region of southern Portugal, so the foul-smelling man could be removed from the flight.

A picture taken by one of the passengers claims to show medical personnel taking him from the plane to a bus.

Belgian passenger Piet van Haut described the stench of the man in question as “unbearable”.

He said: “It was like he hadn’t washed himself for several weeks.

“Several passengers got sick and had to puke.”

Transavia confirmed the emergency landing saying it was due to “medical reasons”.

It is not known why the man smelt so bad and what other medical issues he was suffering from.

In February, a Transavia plane from Dubai to Amsterdam was forced to make an emergency landing in the Austrian capital of Vienna after a passenger, who could not stop farting, caused a brawl between passengers.