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Cook your chicken well to prevent Guillain-Barre Syndrome

Harold Mandel's picture
Cooked chicken

Researchers have found Guillain-Barre Syndrome is caused by a bacterium which is found in undercooked chicken.


Chicken is a delicious and nutritious food. However it is only safe to eat if it is cooked well. Bacterium from chicken which is not cooked well can make people very sick.

A common bacterium which is found in chicken which is not cooked properly causes Guillain-Barre Syndrome

Michigan State University reports new evidence has showed how bacterium which is present in chicken which is not cooked well causes Guillain-Barre Syndrome. A research team from Michigan State University has been the first to show how a common bacterium which is found in chicken which is not cooked properly causes Guillain-Barre Syndrome.

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This research shows how the food borne bacterium which is known as Campylobacter jejuni triggers Guillain-Barre Syndrome. If chicken is not cooked adequately to an acceptable minimum temperature internally bacteria can still thrive in it. Linda Mansfield, who was the lead author of this research paper and MSU College of Veterinary Medicine professor says it is of concern that many Campylobacter strains are resistant to antibiotics and this work demonstrates that treatment with some antibiotics may actually worsen the disease.

Guillain-Barre Syndrome is the leading cause of acute neuromuscular paralysis in people worldwide. Treatments for this illness have been extremely limited and often fail. In this study the use of certain antibiotics made the neurological signs worse. Hopefully new treatments will be found for this disorder.

Initially people with Guillain-Barre Syndrome often come down with vomiting and diarrhea. Within one to several weeks later people with this illness may begin to develop weakness along with tingling in the feet and legs. Paralysis can spread to the upper body and arms of people hit with this disorder. It may even become necessary to use a respirator to help the person with breathing.

This study has been published in the Journal of Autoimmunity. Greater than a million people a year in the United States are infected with Campylobacter jejuni. It is certainly worth noting that a bacterium found in undercooked chicken may cause Guillain-Barre Syndrome.