Ohio State’s John Gunn, PhD, vice chair and professor of Microbial Infection and Immunity in the College of Medicine, has received a bridge grant of $617,000 from the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) to study of chronic infection of the gall bladder by salmonella. The grant could help millions of people in developing countries, as well as travelers.
Salmonella is bacteria that cause many diseases in humans and animals, including typhoid fever and gastroenteritis. Typhoid fever alone infects an estimated 21 million people a year, causing about 600,000 deaths worldwide. Salmonella also is highly correlated with liver, gallbladder bile duct and pancreatic cancer.
Typhoid fever is typically treated with antibiotics, but salmonellae (S. Typhi) are often resistant. Even with treatment, 2–3 percent of those infected die. In addition, many people infected with typhoid fever have no symptoms but become carriers, with the infection settling in their gall bladders.