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TB AND INFLAMMATION

ANCHOR LEAD: CAN REDUCING INFLAMMATION HELP FIGHT TUBERCULOSIS?  ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS

Tuberculosis bacteria actually cause an excess of inflammatory factors as part of their strategy to invade human cells, Johns Hopkins research led by William Bishai has shown.  Does this mean that interrupting that standby of defense, the immune response, would be an effective means of stopping the bug?  Bishai comments.

BISHAI: Nonsteroidals and prednisone are blunt tools.  They have broad-based suppression of the immune system.  And one of the exciting developments in immune system research has been the advent of the biologic family of antiinflammatories where specific parts of the immune system are targeted such as the anti-tumor necrosis factor drugs.  I think its an exciting confluence of biological research disciplines, where these anti-inflammatories are coming along for various human indications; they might be very useful for infectious diseases as well.                        :34

Bishai says the strategy of blunting the immune response has been helpful in other infections.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.



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