According to researchers at the Indiana University School of Medicine it was found that certain proteins that prevent bacterial infection serve to increase the life span of those suffering from compromised immune systems.
The study results were published in the journal of Biological Chemistry. These proteins can be used as a basis to develop drugs that could boost the patient's immune system. The lead researcher Roman Dziarski, Ph.D., and Dipika Gupta, Ph.D. said that these drugs could be used to help AIDS patients suffering from bacterial infections. The family of proteins was called as PGLYRP - peptidoglycan recognition proteins.
Patients, such as those with HIV/AIDS, are susceptible to bacterial infections that are easily averted by people with healthy immune systems but are life-threatening to people with impaired systems. Drs. Dziarski and Gupta, in their latest report, revealed many parts of the body produce these proteins, which fight disease-causing bacteria. These proteins appear to be the front line in defending the body from infection, mounting a defense long before the body's main immune system responds.
The IU School of Medicine - Northwest scientists report that various organs mount different defensive responses with PGLYRP when exposed to bacteria. The skin produces these proteins only when exposed to virulent or high numbers of bacteria. In contrast, the liver, whose function is to continuously monitor the blood and fight acute infection, produces PGLYRP constantly. The researchers suggest that the liver's constant protein production may help fulfill the organ's preventative role as a blood filter.