Navigation Links
How bacteria boost the immune system
Date:6/14/2010

Scientists have long known that certain types of bacteria boost the immune system. Now, Loyola University Health System researchers have discovered how bacteria perform this essential task.

Senior author Katherine L. Knight, PhD. and colleagues report their discovery in a featured article in the June 15, 2010, issue of the Journal of Immunology, now available online. Knight is professor and chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.

The human body is teeming with bacteria. In each person, there are about 10 times as many bacterial cells as human cells. Bacteria live on skin, in the respiratory tract and throughout the digestive tract. The digestive tract alone is home to between 500 and 1,000 bacterial species.

While some bacteria cause infections, most species are harmless or perform beneficial functions, such as aiding digestion. These beneficial bugs are called commensal bacteria. One of the most important functions of commensal bacteria is boosting the immune system. Studies by other researchers have found that mice raised in sterile, germ-free environments have poorly developed immune systems. But until now, scientists have not known the mechanism by which bacteria help the immune system.

Knight's lab studied the spores from rod-shaped bacteria called Bacillus, found in the digestive tract. (A spore consists of the DNA of a bacterium, encased in a shell. Bacteria form spores during times of stress, and re-emerge when conditions improve.) Researchers found that when they exposed immune system cells called B lymphocytes to bacterial spores, the B cells began dividing and reproducing.

Researchers further found that molecules on the surfaces of the spores bound to molecules on the surfaces of B cells. This binding is what activated the B cells to divide and multiply. B cells are one of the key components of the immune system. They produce antibodies that fight harmful viruses and bacteria.

The findings suggest the possibility that some day, bacterial spores could be used to treat people with weakened or undeveloped immune systems, such as newborns, the elderly and patients undergoing bone marrow transplants. In cancer patients, bacterial spores perhaps could boost the immune system to fight tumors. However, Knight cautioned that it would take years of research and clinical trials to prove whether such treatments were safe and effective.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jim Ritter
jritter@lumc.edu
708-216-2445
Loyola University Health System
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. New strain of bacteria discovered that could aid in oil spill, other environmental cleanup
2. Study: ER computer keyboards and bacteria
3. JAN-PRO Launches Exclusive “EnviroShield™” Disinfecting System - Kills Harmful Bacteria, Including MRSA
4. Understanding the relationship between bacteria and obesity
5. Bacteria as a predicter of colorectal cancer
6. Bacteria May Predict Chances of Colon Cancer
7. FemFlora Reformulated with New Complex of Probiotic Bacteria
8. Suppressing activity of common intestinal bacteria reduces tumor growth
9. Acne is Killed by Using Same Formula that Nature Uses to Keep Our Eyes Free from Bacteria
10. FDA Found Bacteria in Ingredients for Recalled Tylenol, Benadryl
11. Gut bacteria offer new insights -- and hope -- for people with celiac disease
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... Dr. Robert Mondavi, one of the ... smiles. Cosmetic dentistry is a fast-growing field as more patients are discovering the many ... learn more about the options currently available to them and which ones might work ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... , ... Reltok Nasal Products proudly announces that Boston Medical Products, Inc., a ... throat specialty, has added the KOTLER NASAL AIRWAY™ to its diverse product line. , ... patented safety device secured by nasal surgeons onto the floor of the nasal passages, ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... ... growth round of funding led by Eastside Partners, with participation from existing investor ... growing customer base and accelerate its technology and product roadmap. , ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... Regenerative Medicine Solutions ... to Work employee satisfaction survey, earning them second place for Tampa’s Best Places to ... employees. , “This is a great accomplishment for our team,” says RMS Human ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... The infertility specialists at HRC Fertility/Orange County (HRC/OC) ... Daniel A. Potter -- are proud of the recent release of their 2014 in ... SART published the latest verified data for 375 U.S. member clinics. *Preliminary ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/29/2016)... -- Glycotope GmbH, a clinical-stage immuno-oncology company ... of Dr. Alfredo Zurlo as Chief Medical ... many years clinical experience and a proven track record ... was at Mologen AG where he was Chief Medical ... Zurlo held various positions at F Hoffmann La Roche ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... 2016 Research and Markets has ... Products Market 2016-2020" report to their offering. ... The global plastic surgery products market is expected ... period 2016-2020. , ,The growing adoption of laser in ... of the market. Lasers are used to treat a ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... YORK , April 28, 2016 ... online consumer insights on healthcare, announced today that it ... their report Cool Vendor in Life Sciences, 2016, ... April 15, 2016.  The report focuses on life-science- oriented ... gain insight from patients and doctors, confirm medication ingestion, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: