Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Gamma Interferon Could Aid Fight Against Fungal Infections

Date:
November 3, 2007
Source:
Society for General Microbiology
Summary:
Interferon, the "superhero" cure for viral infections, may be a strong weapon in the battle against fungal infections in immunocompromised patients, according to a new article. Fungal infections (mycoses) were once seen as exotic diseases, but this is changing rapidly.

Interferon, the “superhero” cure for viral infections, may be a strong weapon in the battle against fungal infections in immunocompromised patients, according to an article in the November issue of Microbiology Today.

Fungal infections (mycoses) were once seen as exotic diseases, but this is changing rapidly. Although rarely life-threatening in healthy patients, fungal infections are a major problem for the immunocompromised, including HIV patients and people receiving chemotherapy for cancer. Treatment is becoming difficult due to fungal resistance to the antifungal therapy, the variety of disease-causing fungi found and the toxic effects of conventional therapy.

Now, scientists believe gamma interferon, a protein molecule produced by human cells in response to infections, may help to fight fungal infections. “Immune cells called neutrophils are rapidly recruited to the site of infection and play an essential role in fungal killing,” say Drs. Javier Capilla, Karl Clemons and David Stevens, of Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, Stanford Medical School and the California Institute for Medical Research. “Gamma interferon enhances the mechanisms of these cells to make them more potent killers of fungi.”

Tests on many fungal infections, including blastomycosis, candidosis and aspergillosis have shown that gamma interferon has beneficial effects in terms of the reduction of the fungus in the organs and on animal survival. But according to Dr Stevens, interferon is not the only answer. “Therapy using gamma interferon alone has failed to clear the fungus completely from infected tissues but it has great potential to add to conventional therapy.”

“When gamma interferon was given to mice infected with Cryptococcus along with amphotericin B, a standard antifungal treatment, the rate of cure was significantly higher than using one therapy alone. We need to look at the route of administration, the frequency of dosing and the dosage given before we can determine fully the use of gamma interferon as an adjunctive therapy.”

There is still work to be done. “We explored the possibility of using gene therapy for delivering gamma interferon into the nervous system to combat fungal meningitis. Studies of this type suggest a potential clinical use for specific gamma interferon gene therapy in the future. Treatment with gamma-interferon offers a new additional approach to treatment and it provides a new approach to treating difficult diseases. However, clinical trials must document the benefit for patients” says Dr Stevens.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society for General Microbiology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Society for General Microbiology. "Gamma Interferon Could Aid Fight Against Fungal Infections." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 November 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071031090816.htm>.
Society for General Microbiology. (2007, November 3). Gamma Interferon Could Aid Fight Against Fungal Infections. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 3, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071031090816.htm
Society for General Microbiology. "Gamma Interferon Could Aid Fight Against Fungal Infections." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071031090816.htm (accessed September 3, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) You're more likely to gain weight while watching action flicks than you are watching other types of programming, says a new study published in JAMA. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Get A Mortgage, Receive A Cat — Only In Russia

Get A Mortgage, Receive A Cat — Only In Russia

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) The incentive is in keeping with a Russian superstition that it's good luck for a cat to be the first to cross the threshold of a new home. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) The U.N. says the problem is two-fold — quarantine zones and travel restrictions are limiting the movement of both people and food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sharks Off the Menu and on the Tourist Trail in Palau

Sharks Off the Menu and on the Tourist Trail in Palau

AFP (Sep. 2, 2014) Tourists in Palau clamour to dive with sharks thanks to a pioneering conservation initiative -- as the island nation plans to completely ban commercial fishing in its vast ocean territory. 01:15 Video provided by AFP
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