Soon, more efficient vaccines for meningitis and pneumonia
Researchers have discovered the presence of a novel subtype of innate lymphoid cells in human spleen essential for the production of antibodies.
This work was done by the B cell Biology research group at IMIM (Institut Hospital del Mar d'Investigacions Mediques) in Barcelona, directed by Dr. Andrea Cerutti, ICREA research professor and leader in the field of B lymphocyte biology.
Innate lymphoid cells were recently described by the scientific community and represent the first line of immunological defence on our body surfaces, which are constantly exposed to bacteria, such as the intestine or skin.
Dr. Giuliana Magri, member of the research group of B Cell Biology at IMIM and first author in the paper, said that for the first time it has been described both their presence and function in human spleen. We have discovered how these cells regulate the innate immune response of a subset of splenic B lymphocytes that are responsible to fight against encapsulated bacteria, causative agents of meningitis or pneumonia.
This new finding improves our understanding on how the immune system protects us against infections.
This research has been published in the journal Nature Immunology.
(Posted on 24-02-2014)