Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists move closer to predicting who will and will not fight off severe infections

Date:
October 12, 2011
Source:
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Summary:
Why are some people prone to severe infections, while others handle them with less difficulty? A new research report attempts to answer this question by shedding light on the genetic differences that influence our ability to fight off bacterial infections.

Why are some people prone to severe infections, while others handle them with less difficulty? A new research report appearing online in the FASEB Journal attempts to answer this question by shedding light on the genetic differences that influence our ability to fight off bacterial infections.

Related Articles


In the report, scientists analyzed the diversity (polymorphisms) in the genetic makeup of an immune system mediator called the macrophage migration inhibitory factor, or MIF, which plays an important role in host defenses against infection. By identifying the gene variations in people that influence the likelihood of developing deadly infections, new tools can be developed to help physicians prescribe the best treatment and approach toward conditions ranging from childhood ear infections to post-surgical recoveries.

"We hope that our study will contribute to facilitating the development of novel treatment strategies targeting the mediator MIF in patients with severe infection (i.e., sepsis) or any other diseases in which MIF has been shown to play an important role," said Thierry Calandra, Ph.D., a researcher involved in the work from the Infectious Diseases Service in the Department of Medicine at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois in Lausanne, Switzerland.

To make their discovery, Calandra and colleagues defined the genetic variations of the MIF gene in a group of children with bacterial sepsis and found that a specific variant of the MIF gene was associated with more severe disease and increased mortality. They also analyzed the transmission of genetic variants of the MIF gene from parents to afflicted children. Results from this family study suggested that one specific variant of the MIF gene protects from meningitis during childhood, while another variant is a risk factor for the development of infection. Considering the existence of a link between variations in the MIF gene, MIF expression, and the development of bacterial sepsis in children, this study data may help identify patients who may benefit from future treatment strategies targeting MIF.

"It's a big step towards personalized medicine. Knowing exactly how the body is programmed to fight infection will prove to be so critical to physicians of the future that new medical school graduates won't be able to imagine how their professors managed without it," said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of the FASEB Journal. "Here's an analogy: ask a college senior to describe daily life in a world without computers."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. P. Renner, T. Roger, P.-Y. Bochud, T. Sprong, F. C. G. J. Sweep, M. Bochud, S. N. Faust, E. Haralambous, H. Betts, A.-L. Chanson, M. K. Reymond, E. Mermel, V. Erard, M. van Deuren, R. C. Read, M. Levin, T. Calandra. A functional microsatellite of the macrophage migration inhibitory factor gene associated with meningococcal disease. The FASEB Journal, 2011; DOI: 10.1096/fj.11-195065

Cite This Page:

Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. "Scientists move closer to predicting who will and will not fight off severe infections." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 October 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111012113545.htm>.
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. (2011, October 12). Scientists move closer to predicting who will and will not fight off severe infections. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111012113545.htm
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. "Scientists move closer to predicting who will and will not fight off severe infections." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111012113545.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Scientists in Amsterdam say couples transfer tens of millions of microbes when they kiss, encouraging healthy exposure to bacteria. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Cambridge scientists have unravelled the genetic code of a rare tapeworm that lived inside a patient's brain for at least four year. Researchers hope it will present new opportunities to diagnose and treat this invasive parasite. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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