Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Immune System Discovery Could Aid Fight Against Tuberculosis

Date:
October 20, 2006
Source:
Imperial College London
Summary:
A key aspect of how the body kicks the immune system into action against tuberculosis is revealed in research published today. The authors, writing in Science, hope that their research could aid the development of novel vaccines and immunotherapies to combat TB, which is responsible for two million deaths each year.

A key aspect of how the body kicks the immune system into action against tuberculosis is revealed in research published today. The authors, writing in Science, hope that their research could aid the development of novel vaccines and immunotherapies to combat TB, which is responsible for two million deaths each year.

The cause of TB is a slow-growing bacterium known as Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Scientists have known for some time that when host cells are invaded by this bacterium, the host cells are able to call up additional immune cells such as lymphocytes to fight them and try to limit the damage which the bacteria can cause.

The new research, by scientists from Imperial College London, the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford, and other international institutions, identifies a receptor on the host cells which triggers the immune cells' response to tuberculosis. The scientists demonstrated that without this receptor, known as CCR5, mycobacteria were able to thrive inside host cells, as the immune cells did not receive the signal from CCR5 to attack them.

The scientists hope that their findings could enable a novel vaccine or immunotherapy to be developed which could artificially kick the immune cells into action in the same way as CCR5. This could boost the immune response to TB.

Both types of interventions are urgently required, since the BCG vaccine does not offer optimal protection and the current treatment regimens for tuberculosis require at least 6 months medication. This encourages the development of multi-drug resistant strains, as patients often do not complete the full course of treatment.

Dr Beate Kampmann, from the Wellcome Trust Centre for Clinical Tropical Medicine and the Department of Paediatrics at Imperial College London, and one of the authors of the study, said: "These results describe a novel mechanism whereby Mycobacterium tuberculosis communicates with the human immune system. Another piece of this complex jigsaw has been filled in, which will help us to target TB with very specific drugs or vaccines.

"We can now test potential vaccines or drug candidates for the desired effect, as we understand better how they should act," adds Dr Kampmann.

The scientists believe their research will also be of interest to those developing new drugs to combat HIV, which work by inhibiting the CCR5 receptor, which plays an important role in HIV-infection. The new research suggests that such drugs could impair the ability to fight off TB in HIV-infected patients receiving CCR5 receptor antagonists. TB is a big problem for individuals with HIV, as their weakened immune system renders them highly susceptible to this disease.

This research was funded by the Wellcome Trust, the UK Medical Research Council and the Swiss National Science Foundation. It was carried out by scientists from Imperial College London, UK; the University of Cambridge, UK; the University of Oxford, UK; National University of Singapore; Nanyang Technological University, Singapore; the University of Basel, Switzerland; and Lionex Diagnostics and Therapeutics GmbH, Germany.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Imperial College London. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Imperial College London. "Immune System Discovery Could Aid Fight Against Tuberculosis." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 October 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061019192428.htm>.
Imperial College London. (2006, October 20). Immune System Discovery Could Aid Fight Against Tuberculosis. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061019192428.htm
Imperial College London. "Immune System Discovery Could Aid Fight Against Tuberculosis." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061019192428.htm (accessed September 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) Sierra Leone is locked down as aid workers and volunteers look for new cases of Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) A study suggest antidepressants can kick in much sooner than previously thought. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins