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Crib Death - Infection May Cause SIDS

(From todays, May 2, 2002 Windsor Star)

Crib Death

Infection May Cause SIDS

Milan, Italy

Sudden infant death syndrome, in which apparently healthy babies die inexplicably in their cribs, may be linked to infection with a common bacterium, preliminary research suggests.

Researchers told a conference on infectious diseases that a shock-producing byproduct of E.coli was found in the blood of all SIDS babies tested, but in none of the infants used as a comparison. Experts not connected with the research said the toxic infection theory is plausable.

SIDS describes unexpected deaths that autopsies can't explain. Scientists remain mystified by crib death, the top killer of babies aged between one month and one year.

Infection is not a new idea, but this is the first time the specific E.coli protein has been implicated.

"The serum from babies who have died of SIDS is toxic to chick embryos and mice - indicating the presence of a toxin, said Dr. Paul Goldwater, who presented his study at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. - Associated Press

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