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National Jewish Health researchers discover how virulent bacteria
Date:2/1/2010

h highlights the crosstalk that exists between the antibacterial and anti-viral arms of the immune response. Dr. Lenz's findings demonstrate that IFN-αβ, well known to stimulate antiviral defenses, dampens anti-bacterial activity as well.

He speculates that this may be a way for the immune system to more efficiently defend against viral pathogens, while avoiding collateral damage caused by an overactive immune cells. In fact, interferon-β, a medication widely used for multiple sclerosis, may do just that. Dr. Lenz speculates that this medication may act in part by down-regulating expression of IFN- γ receptors on myeloid cells, thus reducing the stimulation of autoimmune T cells.

The next step will be to define more precisely how IFN-αβ mediates down-regulation of the IFN-γ receptors, and to determine whether prevention of these effects improves resistance to infection by Listeria and other bacterial pathogens.


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Contact: Adam Dormuth
dormutha@njhealth.org
303-398-1082
National Jewish Medical and Research Center
Source:Eurekalert

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