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Plague researchers race to beat bioterrorists
Date:10/4/2010

ue, the form of the disease that attacks the lungs. (Bubonic plague infects the lymph nodes; Septicemic plague infects the blood.)

Using a mouse model of pneumonic plague, they showed that antibodies work together with "cytokines" (proteins used by cells to communicate with one another) to control plague. There are many types of cytokines, each conveying distinct messages to cells that bear cytokine receptors on their surfaces. The two types of primates used in the plague vaccine studies almost certainly produced different amounts of cytokines. "This paper should encourage researchers to determine whether differences in cytokine production may explain why one was better protected than the other," said Dr. Smiley.

The Smiley lab is now working to produce an improved plague vaccine, one designed to leave the immune system with a memory that instructs it to produce both antibodies and the right mix of cytokines when it encounters plague.


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Contact: Brian Turner
bturner@trudeauinstitute.org
518-891-3080
Trudeau Institute
Source:Eurekalert  

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