BLIS Technologies help fight rheumatic fever with probiotics Thursday, 29 August 2013

BLIS Technologies Press Release:

Dunedin company BLIS Technologies Ltd have partnered with the Eastern Bay of Plenty Primary Health Alliance, Kawerau Rheumatic Fever Prevention Program. The company has donated 200 bottles of its BLIS K12 Throat Guard Daily probiotics to aid children and families in the region to assist in the battle against the third world disease.

BLIS Technologies produce the advanced probiotic lozenge BLIS K12, which helps support the body's natural defence against throat and ear infections and is effective in the prevention of Streptococcal throat infections which can lead to rheumatic fever.

Kawerau has a high instance of rheumatic fever. The rheumatic fever prevention team monitor 1580 children each week, taking around 1300 swabs every school term. On average 13 % of the throat swabs taken return a Group A Streptococcus positive result.

Rheumatic fever can occur after a strep throat infection caused by a Group A Streptococcus (GAS) bacteria. Most strep throat infections get better and don't lead to rheumatic fever. However, in a small number of people an untreated strep throat develops into rheumatic fever, where their heart, joints, brain and skin can sometimes be damaged.

Eastern Bay Primary Health Alliance rheumatic fever prevention nurse Sandra Ball said, "Our team are excited about the donation. It provides us with another tool in the fight against this disease. We have families who are experiencing recurrent infections and anything we can do to support their well-being is beneficial".

Awareness of the potential of BLIS probiotics came about when members of the Eastern Bay Rheumatic Fever sector attended a lecture by BLIS Technologies founding Scientist, Professor John Tagg, earlier this year. They were enthusiastic about his research and the BLIS K12 and BLIS M18 probiotics. Professor Tagg, who as a child suffered from rheumatic fever, has dedicated much of his life to exploring ways to fight the disease. A microbiologist at the University of Otago, Tagg first discovered the strain of probiotic bacteria nearly 20 years ago.

BLIS Technologies spokesperson Mukesh Kumar said "We feel we can make a huge contribution to the wellbeing of kids in this community. It's rewarding to support a project that promotes health for those vulnerable people who need it the most. BLIS Technologies has been retailing BLIS probiotic products in pharmacies in New Zealand for the past 10 years, and with growing loyalty from the general public in New Zealand and overseas, it is our time to give back to the people who need it the most".

In addition to supporting the Rheumatic Fever Program in Kawerau BLIS Technologies donate BLIS K12 product to The Salvation Army to support families in Otago and Southland. BLIS Technologies donate a number of lozenges based on sales from their online business www.blis.co.nz which is going through a growth period allowing the company to expand its support to the community. BLIS Technologies were the Frost and Sullivan Global Probiotics Entrepreneurial Company of the Year in 2010.