Featured Immune System Research

Enzyme Initiates Protective Immune Responses Against Gut Parasites

Acidic mammalian chitinase, or AMCase, an enzyme present in humans and other mammals, plays a key role in initiating protective immune responses against certain parasitic gut infections, a new NIAID study shows. The findings in mice suggest that AMCase, which had previously been implicated in allergic lung disease, is critical for defense against gastrointestinal infections with parasitic worms called helminth. Read more about an enzyme that initiates protective immune responses against gut parasites.

Infections May Set the Stage for Chronic Inflammatory Diseases

A new study led by NIAID researchers has shown​ in mice that a single gut infection can trigger long-term consequences that compromise the immune system’s balance, impair immune function, and cause persistent inflammation in the gut-associated adipose (fat) tissue. While scientists have long suggested that infections may initiate the development of chronic inflammatory diseases, direct evidence supporting this idea has been lacking. Read more about how infections may set the stage for chronic inflammatory diseases.

Content last reviewed on November 27, 2017