Navigation Links
Scientists move closer to predicting who will and will not fight off severe infections

Bethesda, MD -- Why are some people prone to severe infections, while others handle them with less difficulty? A new research report appearing online in the FASEB Journal ( attempts to answer this question by shedding light on the genetic differences that influence our ability to fight off bacterial infections.

In the report, scientists analyzed the diversity (polymorphisms) in the genetic makeup of an immune system mediator called the macrophage migration inhibitory factor, or MIF, which plays an important role in host defenses against infection. By identifying the gene variations in people that influence the likelihood of developing deadly infections, new tools can be developed to help physicians prescribe the best treatment and approach toward conditions ranging from childhood ear infections to post-surgical recoveries.

"We hope that our study will contribute to facilitating the development of novel treatment strategies targeting the mediator MIF in patients with severe infection (i.e., sepsis) or any other diseases in which MIF has been shown to play an important role," said Thierry Calandra, Ph.D., a researcher involved in the work from the Infectious Diseases Service in the Department of Medicine at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois in Lausanne, Switzerland.

To make their discovery, Calandra and colleagues defined the genetic variations of the MIF gene in a group of children with bacterial sepsis and found that a specific variant of the MIF gene was associated with more severe disease and increased mortality. They also analyzed the transmission of genetic variants of the MIF gene from parents to afflicted children. Results from this family study suggested that one specific variant of the MIF gene protects from meningitis during childhood, while another variant is a risk factor for the development of infection. Considering the existence of a link between variations in the MIF gene, MIF expression, and the development of bacterial sepsis in children, this study data may help identify patients who may benefit from future treatment strategies targeting MIF.

"It's a big step towards personalized medicine. Knowing exactly how the body is programmed to fight infection will prove to be so critical to physicians of the future that new medical school graduates won't be able to imagine how their professors managed without it," said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of the FASEB Journal. "Here's an analogy: ask a college senior to describe daily life in a world without computers."

Contact: Cody Mooneyhan
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology

Related biology news :

1. Tagging tumors with gold: Scientists use gold nanorods to flag brain tumors
2. Uncharted territory: Scientists sequence the first carbohydrate biopolymer
3. New drug target for Alzheimers, stroke is discovered by University at Buffalo scientists
4. Scientists discover 3 new gene faults which could increase melanoma risk by 30 percent
5. Scientists identify microbes responsible for consuming natural gas in Deepwater Horizon spill
6. University of Texas marine scientists awarded $5.6 million for study of critical Arctic environment
7. Responsibilities of scientists underlined by scientific community
8. 11 women scientists announced as winners of Elsevier Foundation OWSD awards
9. Scientists discover the proteins that control development of varicose veins
10. Carnegie Mellon scientists track neuronal stem cells using MRI
11. Scientists discover a master key to unlock new treatments for autoimmune disorders
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/18/2015)... new scientific discoveries deepen our understanding of how cancer ... challenges in better using that knowledge to guide treatment ... children continue to survive pediatric cancer, that counseling may ... John M. Maris, M.D ., a pediatric oncologist ... --> John M. Maris, M.D ., ...
(Date:11/17/2015)... EASTON, Mass. , Nov. 17, 2015 ... a leader in the development and sale of broadly ... the worldwide life sciences industry, today announced it has ... of its $5 million Private Placement (the "Offering"), increasing ... to $4,025,000.  One or more additional closings are expected ...
(Date:11/11/2015)... --  MedNet Solutions , an innovative SaaS-based eClinical technology company ... to announce that it will be a Sponsor of the ... be held November 17-19 in Hamburg , ... iMedNet , MedNet,s easy-to-use, proven and affordable ... been able to deliver time and cost savings of up ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna Zentaris Inc. (NASDAQ:  AEZS; ... and prospects remain fundamentally strong and highlights the ... recently received DSMB recommendation to continue the ZoptEC ... of the final interim efficacy and safety data ... in men with heavily pretreated castration- and Taxane-resistant ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Orexigen® Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: OREX ) ... chat discussion at the Piper Jaffray 27th Annual Healthcare ... discussion is scheduled for Wednesday, December 2, at 8:00 ... replay will be available for 14 days after the ... NormartVP, Corporate Communications and Business Development , BrewLife(858) 875-8629 ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... CA (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... genomics company uBiome, were featured on AngelList early in their initial angel funding ... an AngelList syndicate for individuals looking to make early stage investments in the ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... The United States Golf ... the 2016 USGA Green Section Award. Presented annually since 1961, the USGA Green Section ... her work with turfgrass. , Clarke, of Iselin, N.J., is an extension ...
Breaking Biology Technology: