Researchers at the University of Minnesota have identified key insights into how different types of infection-fighting T-cells survive and co-exist within the bodys immune system.
T-cells, or lymphocytes, are the bodys natural defense mechanism against infection, directly attacking foreign bodies such as bacteria and viruses. The body contains millions of different lymphocytes that fight specific infectious microbes. Research published in the March 3, 2006 issue of Science Express suggests that having a wide variety of each specific T-cell in fewer quantities leads to optimal survival and activity of these infection-fighting cells. Competition within each type of T-cell allows the body to maintain a diverse inventory of natural infection fighters.
"Without this balance, a bodys immune system will not have the desired response when faced with infection," said Marc Jenkins, professor of microbiology at the University of Minnesota and co-author of the study. "These findings could aid the development and production of vaccines and lead to further research on how the body fights specific infections, such as HIV."
Liz Bryan | EurekAlert!
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