Friday, 28 May 2021

Malevolent Designer News - How Salmonella Has Been Designed to Make Us Sick

Scanning electron micrograph of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium invading a human epithelial cell.
Credit: NIAID
NIH Scientists Find that Salmonella Use Intestinal Epithelial Cells to Colonize the Gut | NIH: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

The malevolent creativity of Creationism's putative intelligent [sic] designer was revealed in another paper published in the journal Cell Host & Microbe yesterday. Scientist have shown how a mechanism Creationists believe was designed by the same designer to protect us against the intestinal bacteria it designed to live in our gut, has actually been turned against us so that Salmonella can bypass our defences.

Scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) in the Rocky Mountain Laboratories, Hamilton, Montana have found that when your body's immune system tries to eliminate Salmonella bacteria from the cells lining your gut, this actually benefits the bacteria and enables them to colonize your gut and increase the faecal shedding of masses of bacteria to infect other people.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates Salmonella bacteria cause about 1.35 million infections, 26,500 hospitalizations and 420 deaths in the United States alone every year. This is small beer compared to this supposed designer's success with the coronavirus of course, but nevertheless, if you believe in this monster, it is something of a success of which its worshipers can be proud.

How it does this is explained in the NIH news release:
NIAID scientists are studying how Salmonella bacteria establish and maintain a foothold in the GI tract of mammals. One of the first lines of defense in the GI tract is the physical barrier provided by a single layer of intestinal epithelial cells. These specialized cells absorb nutrients and are a critical barrier that prevent pathogens from spreading to deeper tissues. When bacteria invade these cells, the cells are ejected into the gut lumen—the hollow portion of the intestines. However, in previous studies, NIAID scientists had observed that some Salmonella replicate rapidly in the cytosol—the fluid portion—of intestinal epithelial cells. That prompted them to ask: does ejecting the infected cell amplify rather than eliminate the bacteria?

To address this question, the scientists genetically engineered Salmonella bacteria that self-destruct when exposed to the cytosol of epithelial cells but grow normally in other environments, including the lumen of the intestine. Then they infected laboratory mice with the self-destructing Salmonella bacteria and found that replication in the cytosol of mouse intestinal epithelial cells is important for colonization of the GI tract and fuels fecal shedding. The scientists hypothesize that, by hijacking the epithelial cell response, Salmonella amplify their ability to invade neighboring cells and seed the intestine for fecal shedding.

The researchers say this is an example of how the pressure exerted by the host immune response can drive the evolution of a pathogen, and vice versa. The new insights offer new avenues for developing novel interventions to reduce the burden of this important pathogen.
Sadly, the published paper is behind an expensive paywall but the abstract is available here. In it, the researchers explain how the body's defences work against it and for the pathological bacteria.

Creationists, of course, are forbidden from ascribing this to the natural process of evolution and must ascribe it to the intentional design of their god. They will also insist that this creator god is one and the same as the god of the Bible and Qur'an, whom they tell us they regard as worthy or worship and praise for its omnibenevolence!

Curiously, their proclaimed love for this supposed creator does not extend to defending it from the charge of malevolence by ascribing parasites such as salmonella to a natural process. Instead, they insist we ascribe it to something that, if it were real, would be indistinguishable from an evil sadist who hates its creation and is endlessly inventive in the ways in which it makes us sick, even turning against us the processes it reputedly created to protect us against the organisms it created to make us sick. Creationists regard this as a sign of excellence in design!

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