News » Chapter 15 - Immunity, Introductory concepts and Innate Immunity

Researchers use child immune response genes to distinguish between types of infections

Contributed by epnfrn on Aug 08, 2013 - 05:15 PM

At a time when there is great concern over the risks of antibiotic resistance, researchers at Washington University in St. Louis have found a new way to distinguish between fevers in children caused by either bacteria or viruses.   In a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Hu, Yu, Crosby, and Storch measured utilization of genes for the immune response in febrile children, some of which turned out to be infected with bacteria or one of three different viruses, and in children without fevers.



Overactive Immune Response Blocks Itself

Contributed by lalever on Aug 08, 2013 - 03:15 PM

Natural killer cells (NK cells) are an integral part of the innate immune system that serves as the first line of defense against infectious disease causing pathogens.  This important role lead to the assumption that the more activated NK cells present during an immune response, the better.  However, research done at the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) has shown that this principle does not apply to all stages of the immune response.

Natural killer cells (NK cells) are an integral part of the innate immune system that serves as the first line of defense against infectious disease causing pathogens.  This profound role lead to the assumption that the more activated NK cells present during an immune response, the better.  However, research done at the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) has shown that this principle does not apply to all stages of the immune response.


Overactive immune response blocks itself

Contributed by apiramy22 on Aug 07, 2013 - 09:35 AM

Natural killer cells are thought be an important component of innate immune response, which is the immediate response of the body to any infection or any breach of the human body surfaces. Natural killer cells produce messenger substances at the site of infection to recruit other components of the immune system to aid in the removal of the infection. So it has been assumed that having an abundance of natural killer cells will increase the likelihood of the removal of infection. But Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) has recently published that these types of cells can infact have the opposite effect in abundance. They had observed the infection of Listeria monocytogenes, a deadly infection that can get into the blood stream and cause death in mice and immune suppressed individuals, called listeriosis. Until now it has been believed that it is due to the ineffectiveness of the killer cells in fighting the infection causes listeriosis.



Vaccines Various Methods of Creation Defend Against Disease

Contributed by jkmladucky on Jul 23, 2013 - 02:36 PM

Vaccines have been made ever since Edward Jenner created one for smallpox in the late 18th century. The 19th century saw a handful of vaccines created while the 20th witnessed a boom in creation. Today the process of making a vaccine in the United States is highly regulated by the FDA as well as the CDC. However, creating a vaccine is not a straightforward process. There are multiple ways in which a virus or bacteria and be used to create a vaccine that will protect a person for years to come.



 



Microbial Exposure During Early Life Has Persistent Effects on Natural Killer T Cell Function

Contributed by ellen.light3333 on Jul 14, 2013 - 07:49 PM

In early life, one is exposed to thousands upon thousands of microorganisms. The most affected organs are naturally the gastrointestinal tract and the lungs, as they are constantly exposed to the outside world. How one is affected via microbial exposure during this early stage of life could have an effect on them throughout their life. This article discusses the benefits of these early exposures to microorganisms in the way of preventing diseases later on.



Bacteria are your friends

Contributed by paustian on May 22, 2013 - 07:27 PM

Most people think germs on their bodies are a Bad Thing. If they didn't, hand sanitizers, disinfectant soap and bleach would not sell so well. As we learn more about the microbes that inhabit our bodies, we are realizing that the human being is really a superorganism composed of about a trillion human cells and 10 trillion microorganisms. Rarely a microbe will cause illness, but these are transient residents that the body actively removes. Most other microbes that live on us are benign and a significant number of them are critical to our good health.



In the latest issue of Science magazine, Torsten Olszak et. al describes how the microbes we come in contact with as children stimulate natural killer cells (part of the immune system) assisting in their development. Without this contact, the natural killer cells do not develop tolerance and can precipitate immune-related diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome and asthma. This contact must occur during childhood for tolerance to develop.

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