University of Georgia scientists have utilized a well-known cell-signaling protein in fighting influenza and the results have been promising:
Kimberly Klonowski, assistant professor of cellular biology in the UGA Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, and her colleagues found that administering a cell-signaling protein known as IL-15 to mice infected with influenza reduces their peak viral load by nearly three times.
"We gave the IL-15 intranasally and found that it enhanced the movement of the immune system's natural killer cells and CD8 T cells into the lung airways," said Klonowski, whose findings were recently published in the journal PLoS ONE. "As a result, the animals that received it cleared the virus faster than the control group."
In some ways this new work reflects the thinking behind trends in the greater population toward building up the immune system as a way of fighting off infections. Further defining the most effective components of the immune system builds a better, more sustainable premise for improved health care, and improved health, for more people. Congratulations to Dr. Klonowski and her colleagues.
Image: 2ILA Interleukin 1 Alpha protein, licensed under Creative Commons.