Research reveals how strep bacterium evades immune system

Like a well-trained soldier with honed survival skills, the common bacterium, Group A Streptococcus (GAS), sometimes can endure battle with our inborn (innate) immune system and cause widespread disease. By investigating the ability of combat-ready white blood cells (WBCs) to ingest and kill GAS, researchers have discovered new insights into how this disease-causing bacteria can evade destruction by the immune system. The research is being published this week in the Online Early Edition of the “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA.”

Anti-microbial peptide may improve cancer vaccines

Researchers have discovered that a molecule best known for its anti-microbial properties also has the ability to activate key cells in the immune response. This newly discovered function suggests the molecule, a peptide called ?-defensin 2, may be useful in the development of more effective cancer vaccines.

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