Navigation Links
Lice can be nice to us
Date:4/24/2009

Parasite infestations might have a good side. Wild mice from a Nottinghamshire forest have given experts at The University of Nottingham clues as to the importance of some parasites, such as lice, for the conditioning of a "natural" immune system.

Jan Bradley, Professor of Parasitology, said: "Our understanding of mammalian immunology is largely based on rodents reared under highly unnatural pathogen and stress-free conditions. Analysing the immune response in wild populations can give crucial insights into how the immune system functions in its natural context."

Many health problems in modern humans are caused by over-active immune responses. The immune system should be able to tell the difference between foreign invaders and its own body cells. But sometimes it can mistake self proteins for non self proteins triggering an attack on its own body and causing an autoimmune disease such as arthritis, asthma, diabetes or multiple sclerosis. Or the body can mistake a harmless substance as a threat causing an allergic response.

The authors say some parasites may exert a moderating effect on the function of a key component of the immune system, which could help reduce overall immune reactivity and the risk of developing immune dysfunctions.

Their research, published in the open access journal BMC Biology, links the louse Polyplax serrata to a strong dampening of certain immune responses in wild wood mice. This implies that other mammals, such as modern humans, that develop in artificial environments may have less regulated, overactive immune systems precisely because they are not exposed to parasites throughout their lives.

The researchers speculate that the louse is able to exert some kind of immuno-suppressive effect, possibly directly by secreting some substance into the mice from its saliva, or indirectly by transmitting bacteria or other pathogens.

Professor Bradley said: "Much like laboratory mice, people in developed countries are currently exposed to a very different profile of infections to that encountered by their ancestors. It is possible that the immune dysfunctions we see today are the result of immune systems moulded by evolution for a set of challenges completely different to those encountered in modern times."


'/>"/>

Contact: Lindsay Brooke
lindsay.brooke@nottingham.ac.uk
44-115-951-5751
University of Nottingham
Source:Eurekalert

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/28/2017)... PUNE, India , March 28, 2017 ... (Analog, IP, Biometrics), Hardware (Camera, Monitors, Servers, Storage Devices), ... Maintenance), Vertical, and Region - Global Forecast to 2022", ... 30.37 Billion in 2016 and is projected to reach ... 15.4% between 2017 and 2022. The base year considered ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... , Mar 24, 2017 Research and ... Access System Market Analysis & Trends - Industry Forecast to 2025" ... ... to grow at a CAGR of around 15.1% over the next ... This industry report analyzes the market estimates and forecasts for all ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... March 21, 2017   Neurotechnology , a ... technologies, today announced the release of the ... provides improved facial recognition using up to 10 ... single computer. The new version uses deep neural-network-based ... and it utilizes a Graphing Processing Unit (GPU) ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/14/2017)... ... August 14, 2017 , ... The Conference Forum ... event, which will take place on September 6, 2017 at the Marriott Copley Place ... Head of Experimental Medicine, Informatics, and Regulatory Strategy, Pfizer Innovative Research Lab, Pfizer, who ...
(Date:8/10/2017)... ... August 09, 2017 , ... As a ... reach its ideal customers with the right message. Their effective, cutting-edge inbound marketing ... company, we realize how crucial the agriculture industry is,” said David Phelps, chief ...
(Date:8/10/2017)... ... August 09, 2017 , ... SPIE, ... optics laboratories — the Wellman Center for Photomedicine, the Manstein Lab in the ... the Beckman Laser Institute at University of California, Irvine — and the Hillenkamp ...
(Date:8/10/2017)... Aug. 10, 2017   BioLife Solutions , Inc. ... and marketer of proprietary clinical grade cell and tissue ... media ("BioLife" or the "Company"), today reported operational highlights ... ended June 30, 2017. Revenue from biopreservation ... million in the second quarter of 2017, an increase ...
Breaking Biology Technology: