HCPLive Network

“Good” Bacteria Drives Intestinal Response to Infection

Findings from a recent study by Yasmine Belkaid, PhD, and colleagues in the Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) have found that “good” bacteria (commensals) that normally live in the intestines may actually help the body defend against infection. The study, which became available online on October 2 in the journal Immunity, describes a way in which T-cells “are regulated to facilitate an immune response to a pathogen” and also explains that researchers found that “during an infection, the DNA of the body’s beneficial bacteria binds to a specific receptor on the intestinal immune cells, called TLR9.” The DNA acted as a natural adjuvant and boosted the activity of T cells so that they could destroy the invading pathogen.

"There is a balance of regulatory immune signals in the body," noted Dr. Belkaid. "During an infection, we’ve found that commensals can break this balance in favor of an infection-fighting response."

Exactly how commensals protect against pathogens has yet to be fully understood. However, if more research can determine how this interaction occurs, it would open up the possibility of using beneficial bacteria as a target for oral therapies against infections and autoimmune diseases.

To read more about this study, click here.



Further Reading
Researchers at Hong Kong University and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute have identified a link between the influenza A viruses’ genetic diversity and severity of the infection.
Carol Burke, MD, FACG, FASGE, talks about her phase-3 placebo-controlled trial of Celecoxib in pediatric subjects with familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) at the 2014 ACG Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, PA.
Carol Burke, MD, FACG, FASGE, discusses pediatric familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) and colorectal cancer at the 2014 ACG Annual Scientific Meeting in Philadelphia, PA.
The immune system is the new focus of much work on traumatic brain injury (TBI). In a challenge to the paradigm that the blood brain barrier prevents harmful leukocytes from entering the brain, a Texas team tried to neutralize the impact of these cells. Peripheral lymphocytes are activated after TBI. They may then act as potential antigen presenting cells and get into the brain, causing cells there to degenerate.
Black women undergoing in vitro fertilization are only about half as likely as white women to become pregnant, and the racial disparity persists even when donor eggs are used. These findings are being presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, held from Oct. 18 to 22 in Honolulu.
Hospital conversion to for-profit status is associated with improvements in financial margins, but has no effect on process quality metrics or mortality rates, according to a study published in the Oct. 22/29 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association
Drinking sugar-sweetened sodas may affect cellular aging by shortening telomere length, according to research published online Oct. 16 in the American Journal of Public Health.
More Reading