Printer Friendly

Speeding-Up Fight against Flu.

TEHRAN (FNA)- Scientists discovered a new molecule which could help better target and kick-start the body's natural fight against common infections like influenza.

A team from Cardiff University's Systems Immunity Research Institute identify a molecule in the body -- known as L-selectin -- which directs the body's killer T cells to the site of a virus.

By manipulating this 'homing molecule' the team are planning on increasing the number of killer T cells at a site of infection and so boost the killing of viruses.

"We already know white blood cells -- or specifically, a subset known as T lymphocytes -- provide us with a natural defence against viruses," said Dr Ann Ager, who led the research.

"When a virus enters the body the T lymphocytes are turned into killer T cells before they are despatched to fight the virus.

"However, until now, there has been little understanding of how these killer T cells find their way to the virus," she added.

Seasonal influenza can cause severe illness and life-threatening complications in older people, young children, pregnant women and people with on-going respiratory diseases such as asthma or heart disease.

Dr Ager added: "There are currently no anti-viral drugs available to treat the vast majority of viruses that cause a wide range of illnesses.

"We also know that vaccines for influenza need to be re-formulated every season.

"This is why our findings are so significant.

"Now we know what directs the body's killer T cells to an area of infection, increasing the expression of this homing molecule will, in theory, increase the number of killer T cells at the site of infection and boost the killing of the virus."

Further studies will be required before the findings can be translated into direct benefit to patients; however, the team are planning on focusing their efforts at finding ways to reduce the loss of L-selectin from the surface of killer T cells in order to increase the number of killer T cells that can home in on infected tissues.

The team will also be looking to identify which molecule L-selectin binds to in virus infected tissues that allows killer T cells to be directed there.

[c]2016 Fars News Agency. All rights reserved Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. ( ).

COPYRIGHT 2016 SyndiGate Media Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2016 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:FARS News Agency
Date:Jan 23, 2016
Previous Article:Aliens Are Silent Because They're Dead.
Next Article:Apple Readying New 4-Inch iPhone Dubbed "iPhone 5se".

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2019 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters