A novel type of cell which helps the body battle infections even critical illnesses has been found by researcher Carola Vinuesa from The John Curtin School of Medical Research.
This cell called as Natural killer T follicular helper (NKTfh), first recognizes foreign molecules or lipids, which sit on infectious bacteria. The cell then produces antibody responses in B cells , which is a natural method for the body to battle infections.
`Natural killer T cells, unlike other T cells, recognize molecules known as lipids instead of just recognizing proteins expressed by infectious bacteria. These types of bacteria can cause life-threatening infections, including meningitis and pneumonia. NKT cells don`t just recognise lipids, they can be naturally activated by them.Not surprisingly, NKT cells have been shown to play important roles in combating infection and in other immune processes including allergy, cancer and autoimmunity. What we have found is a subset of NKT cells, the NKTfh, which are specialised in generating antibody responses in B cells that recognise lipid-containing antigens," she said.
This gives a boost to B cells, which help in strengthening the human immune system and enhancing its capability to offset potential infection."