You know the symptoms well enough. The clammy chill that washes over your body, the clenching in your stomach and then, finally, the dash to the bathroom, possibly accompanied by a split-second decision about which part of your body to aim at the toilet first.
But what’s happening inside your body when you have food poisoning?
Research published today has given us a slightly clearer idea, at least for one type of bacteria.
A team from the Australian National University looked at the way the body responds to the bacteria Bacillus cereus, which can cause food poisoning and sometimes lead to serious infections elsewhere in the body, including sepsis, pneumonia and meningitis.
They found a toxin secreted by the bacteria binds directly to cells in the human body and punches holes in the cells to kill them, triggering an immune response.