If you’re sick from food poisoning, the pain is so intense it may feel like you’ll never get better. But is this actually the case? A recent study from researchers at Cornell University suggests that certain variations of salmonella food poisoning may damage your DNA.

Read: Cancer Cure Research 2017: Can Salmonella Destroy Brain Disease?

Ingesting salmonella makes you really sick, and the food poisoning bacteria can be carried by raw eggs, uncooked chicken, ground beef, pork, tomatoes, sprouts, and peanut butter. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, illness from the bacteria lasts about four to seven days, and most people recover without antibiotic treatment.

Researchers at Cornell examined multiple strains of salmonella within human cells, which were grown in the lab. According to a press release from Cornell, findings revealed that bacteria strains with a certain toxin, called S-CDT, indicate the presence of DNA damage.

So, what does this mean for the person who has ingested bacteria with S-CDT present?

“The more you expose your body’s cells to DNA damage, the more DNA damage that needs to be repaired, and there may one day be a chance that the DNA damage is not correctly repaired. We don’t really know right now the true permanent damage from these salmonella infections,” said researcher Martin Wiedmann in the release.

“A person’s damaged DNA from salmonella could lead to long-term health consequences after the infection subsides, such as longer bouts with foodborne illness.” he explained.

Read: Bacteria Cancer Therapy: Salmonella And Flesh-Eating Bacteria Team Up To Shrink Tumors

There’s no doubt that salmonella has a powerful effect on the human body. According to recent research, scientists have figured out a method that may eventually harness this bacteria for good. Medical Daily previously reported that the bacteria could be modified to fight a type of aggressive brain cancer called glioblastoma.

Source: Miller RA, Wiedmann M. The Cytolethal Distending Toxin Produced by Nontyphoidal Salmonella Serotypes Javiana, Montevideo, Oranienburg, and Mississippi Induces DNA Damage in a Manner Similar to That of Serotype Typhi. mBio. 2016.

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