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UCalgary researchers discover why sepsis from a staph infection causes organ failure

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When Alpha Toxin is introduced, platelets (seen in blue) respond abnormally and begin to aggregate and form clumps. Those clumps deposit in the liver and kidneys, causing serious damage and eventually organ failure. Normally, platelets help stop bleeding in mammals after injury. What's relatively unknown is that platelets also play a role in the body's defenses against bacteria by coating bacteria to prevent the spread of a microbe throughout the body. However, during sepsis caused by staph infection, as the amount of toxin in the bloodstream increases, the platelets clump. CREDIT Snyder Institute for Chronic Diseases, Cumming School of Medicine α-Toxin Induces Platelet Aggregation and Liver Injury during Staphylococcus aureus Sepsis Bas G.J.Surewaard et al Cell Host & Microbe