27 October, 2000
Researchers at the Manchester Royal Infirmary have come one step closer to solving the puzzle of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), which claims the life of 250 Australian babies every year.
Their recent study has found that a common bacterium - Helicobacter pylori - could be a contributing factor in sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Helicobacter pylori is commonly associated with the development of stomach and duodenal ulcers.
The study examined the organs of 40 babies–32 who had died as a result of SIDS and 8 controls. Analysis of the tissues found that 88 per cent of the SIDS babies showed signs of infection with the Helicobacter pylori bacteria, compared with only 12.5 per cent of the babies without SIDS.
The English researchers have stressed the bacteria cannot be implicated as the cause of SIDS, but that there is a highly significant association.
Last Reviewed: 27 October 2000