Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists discover why newborns get sick so often

Date:
October 31, 2013
Source:
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Summary:
If you think cold and flu season is tough, trying being an infant. A new research finding sheds light on why newborns appear to be so prone to getting sick with viruses -- they are born without one of the key proteins needed to protect them.

If you think cold and flu season is tough, trying being an infant. A new research finding published in the November 2013 issue of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology sheds new light on why newborns appear to be so prone to getting sick with viruses -- they are born without one of the key proteins needed to protect them. This protein, called "toll-like receptor 3" or "TLR3," is involved in the recognition of different viruses and mediates the immune response to them. Without this protein, newborn immune cells are not equipped to recognize and react appropriately to certain viruses, in particular, the herpes simplex virus known as HSV.

"This study helps to understand the molecular basis for the immaturity of the immune system of newborns, which we believe will contribute to development of therapeutic interventions to protect this vulnerable population group," said Lucija Slavica, a researcher involved in the work from the Department of Rheumatology and Inflammation Research at the University of Gothenburg in Gothenburg, Sweden.

To make this discovery, scientists compared cells from the cord blood of newborns with the same type of blood cells from adults. The cells from newborns did not contain the protein TLR3, which was present in adult cells. These cells rid the body of viral-infected cells, ultimately eliminating viral infections. When researchers treated both cell groups with a synthetic component mimicking a viral presence, the adult immune cells reacted by secreting substances involved in immune reaction against viruses (interferon-gamma) and killed cells infected with virus, while cells from newborns could not do this or were impaired in performing this function.

"This study adds to the growing body of research stemming from the Nobel-winning discovery in 2011 on how the immune system recognizes microbes by shedding light on how these pathways develop over time after birth," said John Wherry, Ph.D., Deputy Editor of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology. "This report is particularly important -- as any new parent can attest, infants are particularly susceptible to infections and understanding which pathways are not yet functional could lead to novel therapies."


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. L. Slavica, I. Nordstrom, M. N. Karlsson, H. Valadi, M. Kacerovsky, B. Jacobsson, K. Eriksson. TLR3 impairment in human newborns. Journal of Leukocyte Biology, 2013; 94 (5): 1003 DOI: 10.1189/jlb.1212617

Cite This Page:

Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. "Scientists discover why newborns get sick so often." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131031125203.htm>.
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. (2013, October 31). Scientists discover why newborns get sick so often. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131031125203.htm
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. "Scientists discover why newborns get sick so often." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131031125203.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Costs Keep Mounting

Ebola Costs Keep Mounting

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 23, 2014) The WHO has warned up to 20,000 people could be infected with Ebola over the next few weeks. As Sonia Legg reports, the implications for the West African countries suffering from the disease are huge. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Cases Could Reach 1.4 Million Within 4 Months

Ebola Cases Could Reach 1.4 Million Within 4 Months

Newsy (Sep. 23, 2014) Health officials warn that without further intervention, the number of Ebola cases in Liberia and Sierra Leone could reach 1.4 million by January. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Ebola Cases to Triple in Weeks Without Drastic Action

WHO: Ebola Cases to Triple in Weeks Without Drastic Action

AFP (Sep. 23, 2014) The number of Ebola infections will triple to 20,000 by November, soaring by thousands every week if efforts to stop the outbreak are not stepped up radically, the WHO warned in a study on Tuesday. Duration: 01:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
5 Ways Men Can Prevent Most Heart Attacks

5 Ways Men Can Prevent Most Heart Attacks

Newsy (Sep. 23, 2014) No surprise here: A recent study says men can reduce their risk of heart attack by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, which includes daily exercise. Video provided by Newsy
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