Playboy founder Hugh Hefner was laid to rest over the weekend following a cardiac arrest at the age of 91. Soon after, The Blast obtained and published his death certificate from the Los Angeles Department of Public Health.
In the certificate, while the immediate cause of death was listed as cardiac arrest, secondary causes included E. coli and Septicemia, a severe blood infection.
The E. coli strain Hefner had was so severe that it was “highly resistant to antibiotics.”
While the purpose of antibiotics is to kill infections, recently they have been used so much and in such high qualities (livestock feed and overprescription specifically) that it’s allowed bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi to build immunity and resistance.
As a result of these immunities, the rise of newly immune pathogens (or “superbugs”) have become a worldwide pandemic. Most recently, multi-drug-resistant strains of gonorrhea have become major talking points surrounding potentially dangerous outbreaks, like the hepatitis A outbreak reaching San Diego and Los Angeles.
Recently, scientists found that the existence of bad bacteria in the gut like E. coli, Salmonella, and Staphylococcus, if left unchecked, are likely to cause more problems for people living HIV.
Studies have shown that while the “gut” has both good and bad bacteria, HIV alters the behavior of these bacteria, bringing more harm than good in most cases. While people with healthy immune systems normally keep bad bacteria in check, those living with HIV have to be extra cautious.
In a study published by Science Transitional Medicine, researchers found a greater existence of E. coli, Salmonella, and Staphylococcus in those who are HIV-positive. One theory is that they might play a vital role in HIV’s progression to AIDS.
But given the fact that antibiotics are beginning to submit to drug resistant strains of bad bacteria, more research is needed in how drugs can improve an HIV-positive person’s ability to fight the disease while also dealing with bad bacteria in the gut.