A class of immune cells called innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) mediates the body’s initial defense against tuberculosis (TB), according to a report published online today in Nature. Boosting this response may provide a new approach to developing treatments and vaccines against TB, which causes more deaths worldwide than any other single infectious disease. The research was supported in part by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a component of the National Institutes of Health.
Immune System News Releases
Scratching the skin triggers a series of immune responses culminating in an increased number of activated mast cells—immune cells involved in allergic reactions—in the small intestine, according to research conducted in mice. This newly identified skin-gut communication helps illuminate the relationship between food allergy and atopic dermatitis (a type of eczema), a disease characterized by dry, itchy skin.
Antiretroviral therapy (ART) is usually very effective at suppressing HIV in the body, allowing a person’s immune system to recover by preventing the virus from destroying CD4+ T cells. Scientists have now identified a rare, paradoxical response to ART known as extreme immune decline, or EXID.
A small clinical trial has shown that gene therapy can safely correct the immune systems of infants newly diagnosed with a rare, life-threatening inherited disorder in which infection-fighting immune cells do not develop or function normally. Eight infants with the disorder, called X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency (X-SCID), received an experimental gene therapy co-developed by National Institutes of Health scientists. They experienced substantial improvements in immune system function and were growing normally up to two years after treatment.
A drug approved to treat a severe form of asthma dramatically improved the health of people with rare chronic immune disorders called hypereosinophilic syndromes (HES) in whom other treatments were ineffective or intolerable. This finding comes from a small clinical trial led by scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, and conducted through a partnership with the global biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca. The results were published online today in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Atopic dermatitis, a common inflammatory skin condition also known as allergic eczema, affects nearly 20 percent of children, 30 percent of whom develop food allergies. Scientists have now found that children with both atopic dermatitis and food allergy have structural and molecular differences in the top layers of healthy-looking skin near the eczema lesions, whereas children with atopic dermatitis alone do not.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, and Children’s National Health System, a pediatric academic medical center in Washington, D.C., have launched a clinical research partnership devoted to treating and preventing allergic, immunologic and infectious diseases in children. An inaugural symposium will take place at Children’s National on Sept. 17, 2018, to highlight the partnership and discuss current and future directions for its research activities.
Since the first cases of AIDS were reported in the United States 37 years ago, the National Institutes of Health has invested more than $69 billion in the understanding, treatment and prevention of HIV/AIDS. Beyond the development of life-saving medications and innovative prevention modalities, such research has led to numerous advances outside the HIV field, according to a new commentary from experts at NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).
For the first time, scientists have shown that in certain people living with HIV, a type of antibody called immunoglobulin G3 (IgG3) stops the immune system’s B cells from doing their normal job of fighting pathogens. This phenomenon appears to be one way the body tries to reduce the potentially damaging effects of immune-system hyperactivity caused by the presence of HIV, according to the investigators, but in so doing, it also impairs normal immune function.
Long-lasting control of HIV infection without antiretroviral therapy (ART) is a feasible goal that deserves vigorous pursuit, Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., will assert during a lecture on Wednesday, July 25 at the 22nd International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2018) in Amsterdam. Dr. Fauci directs the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health. His lecture is titled, “Durable Control of HIV Infection in the Absence of Antiretroviral Therapy: Opportunities and Challenges.”
Scientists have discovered that the absence of a specific protein in cells lining the esophagus may cause inflammation and tissue damage in people with eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE). EoE affects as many as 150,000 people in the United States, many of whom are children. People with EoE experience difficult or painful swallowing, vomiting and nutritional problems because an accumulation of immune cells called eosinophils scars the esophagus.
The first large-scale clinical trial to study kidney transplantations between people with HIV has begun at clinical centers across the United States. The HOPE in Action Multicenter Kidney Study will determine the safety of this practice by evaluating kidney recipients for potential transplant-related and HIV-related complications following surgery. The study is sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health.
Topical treatment with live Roseomonas mucosa—a bacterium naturally present on the skin—was safe for adults and children with atopic dermatitis (eczema) and was associated with reduced disease severity, according to initial findings from an ongoing early-phase clinical trial at the National Institutes of Health. Preclinical work in a mouse model of atopic dermatitis had suggested that R. mucosa strains collected from healthy skin can relieve disease symptoms.
On World Asthma Day 2018, the National Institutes of Health stands with people worldwide to renew our commitment to advance understanding of asthma and develop effective strategies to manage, treat and ultimately prevent the disease. A new three-minute NIH video provides a glimpse into the stories of patients and doctors who are working to advance research. Patients discuss the impact asthma has had on their lives, and investigators highlight promising areas of research and the critical role that clinical trial volunteers play in combatting the disease.
Infection with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), the cause of infectious mononucleosis, has been associated with subsequent development of systemic lupus erythematosus and other chronic autoimmune illnesses, but the mechanisms behind this association have been unclear. Now, a novel computational method shows that a viral protein found in EBV-infected human cells may activate genes associated with increased risk for autoimmunity. Scientists supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases report their findings today in Nature Genetics.
Quality of life for people with type 1 diabetes who had frequent severe hypoglycemia—a potentially fatal low blood glucose (blood sugar) level—improved consistently and dramatically following transplantation of insulin-producing pancreatic islets, according to findings published online March 21 in Diabetes Care.
Beneficial bacteria on the skin of lab mice work with the animals’ immune systems to defend against disease-causing microbes and accelerate wound healing, according to new research from scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health. Researchers say untangling similar mechanisms in humans may improve approaches to managing skin wounds and treating other damaged tissues. The study was published online today in Cell.
Combining a 16-week initial course of the medication omalizumab with oral immunotherapy (OIT) greatly improves the efficacy of OIT for children with allergies to multiple foods, new clinical trial findings show. After 36 weeks, more than 80 percent of children who received omalizumab and OIT could safely consume two-gram portions of at least two foods to which they were allergic, compared with only a third of children who received placebo and OIT.
Children exposed to high indoor levels of pet or pest allergens during infancy have a lower risk of developing asthma by 7 years of age, new research supported by the National Institutes of Health reveals. The findings, published September 19 in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, may provide clues for the design of strategies to prevent asthma from developing.
New findings from mouse models reveal that the type of immune response that helps maintain healthy metabolism in fatty tissues, called type 2 immunity, also drives obesity-induced nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The work, led by scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, shows that the inflammatory environment in the fatty liver is more complex than previously thought.
Investigators at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and international colleagues have discovered a genetic cause and potential treatment strategy for a rare immune disorder called CHAPLE disease. Children with the condition can experience severe gastrointestinal distress and deep vein blood clots. No effective treatments are available to ameliorate or prevent these life-threatening symptoms.
Scientists have identified a rare genetic mutation that results in a markedly increased susceptibility to infection by human rhinoviruses (HRVs)—the main causes of the common cold. Colds contribute to more than 18 billion upper respiratory infections worldwide each year, according to the Global Burden of Disease Study.
New clinical trial results provide evidence that high-dose immunosuppressive therapy followed by transplantation of a person's own blood-forming stem cells can induce sustained remission of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS), an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the central nervous system.
Scientists have developed a new approach to repair a defective gene in blood-forming stem cells from patients with a rare genetic immunodeficiency disorder called X-linked chronic granulomatous disease (X-CGD). After transplant into mice, the repaired stem cells developed into normally functioning white blood cells, suggesting the strategy could potentially be used to treat people with this disease.
Investigators at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and international colleagues have identified a genetic immune disorder characterized by increased susceptibility and poor immune control of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and, in some cases, an EBV-associated cancer called Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The researchers studied two unrelated sets of siblings with similar immune problems and determined their symptoms were likely caused by a lack of CD70, a protein found on the surface of several types of immune cells.
Different cells of the human body differ greatly in structure and function. However, variation exists even among cells of one type. New research from investigators at the National Institutes of Health suggests the magnitude of such differences in T lymphocytes, or T cells, may indicate an individual’s age and genetic predisposition to disease. Learning more about so-called cell-to-cell expression variation, or CEV, may further illuminate how the immune system functions and one day serve as a diagnostic tool to help implement personalized medicine, according to the researchers.
A wearable patch that delivers small amounts of peanut protein through the skin shows promise for treating children and young adults with peanut allergy, with greater benefits for younger children, according to one-year results from an ongoing clinical trial. The treatment, called epicutaneous immunotherapy or EPIT, was safe and well-tolerated, and nearly all participants used the skin patch daily as directed.
The microbial communities, or microbiota, that naturally colonize the digestive tract in very young infants can affect their risk of later developing childhood allergies and asthma. Scientists now have identified a specific type of microbiota composition and corresponding metabolic environment in the neonatal gut that appears to influence immune cell populations and promote allergy and asthma development. The work was funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health.
Scientists from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), all parts of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), describe how combining engineered anthrax toxin proteins and existing chemotherapy drugs could potentially yield a therapy to reduce or eliminate cancerous tumors.
On World Asthma Day 2016, the National Institutes of Health reaffirms its commitment to support research to improve the lives of all people with asthma. NIH-funded research has advanced our understanding of asthma as a disease as well as the impact asthma has on the lives of those affected.
Results from laboratory experiments and mouse studies suggest that small doses of drugs from a specific class of approved cancer medications called topoisomerase 1 (top1) inhibitors may protect against the overwhelming immune response to infection that sometimes leads to sepsis, a bacterial condition that kills as many as 500,000 people in the United States each year.
Medical interventions that work well when tested in mouse models can fail when they advance to safety and efficacy testing in humans. One reason for this, scientists propose, may be the differences between immune system development in laboratory mice and humans.
New clinical trial results show that transplantation of pancreatic islets—cell clusters that contain insulin-producing cells—prevents severe, potentially life-threatening drops in blood sugar in people with type 1 diabetes.
New research in monkeys exposed to SIV, the monkey equivalent of HIV, suggests that the virus spreads rapidly in the body and triggers early host responses that suppress antiviral immunity, thus promoting viral replication. The study, published in Cell, provides a detailed view of the period between initial mucosal exposure to the virus and the point at which it becomes detectable in the blood.
Scientists have identified a protein that may be the cause of tissue damage in patients with eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), which affects as many as 56 of every 100,000 people in the United States. EoE is a disease in which white blood cells called eosinophils accumulate in the esophagus, often causing difficult or painful swallowing, nausea, vomiting and poor growth in children and adults.
Antibodies derived from a type of immune cell found in unusually high numbers in HIV-infected individuals with chronically uncontrolled virus levels are less effective at neutralizing HIV than antibodies derived from a different type of immune cell more common in people without HIV, scientists report.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, is seeking public comment on a draft update to the 2010 Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Food Allergy in the United States (link is external) to address the prevention of peanut allergy.
Scientists at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have identified a genetic mutation responsible for a rare form of inherited hives induced by vibration, also known as vibratory urticaria. Running, hand clapping, towel drying or even taking a bumpy bus ride can cause temporary skin rashes in people with this rare disorder.
Oral immunotherapy for peanut allergy induces early, distinct changes in immune T-cell populations that potentially may help researchers determine which people will respond well to the therapy and which immune mechanisms are involved in the response, a new study suggests.