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New Immune-Deficiency Illness Emerging in East Asia
Date:8/22/2012

on't respond to antibiotics," she noted.

The challenge, Browne said, is to get a handle on what's causing the disease.

"We need to understand why and how people make these antibodies, be able to predict who will get better and who will get sicker, and find treatments that target the antibodies directly," she said.

Browne believes there could be a silver lining to the emergence of the new illness, because it could point to new avenues for treating infectious disease. "There may be diseases we're treating now with antibiotics that may benefit more from manipulating the immune system," she theorized.

More information

To learn more about NTM, visit the American Lung Association.

SOURCES: Sarah Browne, M.D., assistant clinical investigator, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md.; Marc Siegel, M.D., associate professor of medicine, New York University Langone Medical Center, New York City; New England Journal of Medicine, online edition, Aug. 22, 2012


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