Hana Haver October 4, 2010 ST483 Abstract It is okay to admit you have had diarrhea, we all have. It has been burdening human society since the era of the Neolithic farmers back in 4000 BC. 1 It was not until Robert Koch formulated the germ theory near the end of the 19 th century, that we realized infectious microbes are largely responsible for diarrhea. Today, infectious diarrhea annually kills about 1.5 million children worldwide. When an individual contracts an infection, the osmotic balance in their gut makes water retention and mineral absorption difficult, causing people to become severely dehydrated and malnourished. This pathophysiology is partly due to the function of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR), which is a chloride channel that plays a critical role in maintaining the body’s osmotic balance, transporting chloride ions in and out of epithelial cells. In diarrhea, this channel is active in putting ions into the gut lumen and thus drawing water
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