A University of Leicester researcher has discovered how a protein in the blood linked to defence against meningitis plays a more vital role than previously understood in the body’s immune defence system. The published research has helped to advance medical understanding of how the body defends against disease and heals itself. The study also reveals that the same protein, Properdin, can also harm internal organs under certain circumstances.
Lack of the protein in the human body has previously been linked to susceptibility to meningitis. But the new findings by Dr Cordula Stover, of the Department of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation at the University of Leicester assign hitherto unappreciated importance to this protein of the immune defence. Her work, funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC), is published in the form of two papers in the Journal of Immunology to be published on May 15.
Release date: May 6, 2008
Source: University of Leicester
Filed Under: Genomics/Proteomics