Friday, 14 February 2014

Keeping tuberculosis in check

Mycobacterium tuberculosis is a major cause of death worldwide, and a formidable foe. Most healthy people can defend themselves against tuberculosis, but they need all parts of their immune system to work together. A study published in PLOS Pathogens reveals how a special class of immune cells called "invariant natural killer T cells" make their contribution to this concerted effort.

Specifically, when invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells encounter infected macrophages--the human target cells of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, or Mtb--the iNKT cells somehow prevented Mtb from growing and multiplying inside the macrophages.

For further details, refer to:

Alissa C. Rothchild, Pushpa Jayaraman, Cláudio Nunes-Alves, Samuel M. Behar. iNKT Cell Production of GM-CSF Controls Mycobacterium tuberculosis. PLoS Pathogens, 2014; 10 (1): e1003805 DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1003805

Posted by Tim Sandle