From Our 2009 Archives
Strep B Seems to Trick Immune System
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The findings about Group B Streptococcus (GBS) may help lead to new drugs for infectious diseases that affect about 3,500 newborns in the United States each year, said the researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine.
"We have discovered that the bacteria have evolved to use a trick we call 'molecular mimicry.' Like a wolf in sheep's clothing, GBS can enter our body without activating the immune cells that are normally programmed to kill foreign invaders," Dr. Victor Nizet, a professor of pediatrics and pharmacy at UC San Diego, said in a news release.
The study appeared online July 13 in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.
In addition to causing infections in newborns, GBS is associated with serious infections in pregnant women, adult diabetics and the elderly.
-- Robert Preidt
SOURCE: University of California, San Diego, news release, July 13, 2009
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