Interferon may be a strong weapon in the battle against fungal infections in immunocompromised patients, according to an article in the November issue of Microbiology Today. Scientists believe gamma interferon, a protein molecule produced by human cells in response to infections, may help to fight fungal infections.
“Immune cells called neutrophils are rapidly recruited to the site of infection and play an essential role in fungal killing,” say Drs. Javier Capilla, Karl Clemons and David Stevens, of Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, Stanford Medical School and the California Institute for Medical Research. “Gamma interferon enhances the mechanisms of these cells to make them more potent killers of fungi.”
Tests on many fungal infections, including blastomycosis, candidosis and aspergillosis have shown that gamma interferon has beneficial effects in terms of the reduction of the fungus in the organs and on animal survival. But according to Dr Stevens, interferon is not the only answer. “Therapy using gamma interferon alone has failed to clear the fungus completely from infected tissues but it has great potential to add to conventional therapy.”
Release date: October 31, 2007
Source: Society for General Microbiology
Filed Under: Drug Discovery