Infection time

Disease is more severe when it hits in the morning, at least in mice

By Stephen Ornes, 11:24 AM June 14, 2013


Salmonella bacteria (pink) invade a defense cell in the body. The severity of the infection may depend on the time of day the germs are introduced to the body, new research suggests. Credit: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)


Salmonella is a germ to avoid: Some types of these bacteria can trigger food poisoning. But the severity of the illness may depend on what time — day or night — the infection took place, a new study in mice finds.


“This is the first study that has infected mammals with a [germ] and seen this effect,” Laura Roden told Science News. Roden, who did not work on the study, is a chronobiologist. These scientists study the natural rhythms, such as sleep and wake cycles, that occur throughout a 24-...

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