About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Killer Cells Protect Against Infectious Mononucleosis in Young People

by Bidita Debnath on December 23, 2013 at 9:58 PM
Font : A-A+

 Killer Cells Protect Against Infectious Mononucleosis in Young People

Nearly 90 percent of all adults are carriers of the oncogenic Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV).

Primary infection with this herpes virus as a young child is generally not linked to any symptoms, and usually offers life-long protection from its cancer-causing effect. However, for people who do not become infected with the virus until adolescence, the infection often leads to infectious mononucleosis (commonly known as glandular fever).

Advertisement

Our immune systems can generally fend off this disease after a period of between one and several months. However, there is an increased risk of developing Hodgkin lymphoma at a later stage, a cancerous tumor of the lymphatic system. Immunologists from the University of Zurich have now discovered a risk factor that is in part responsible for the outbreak of infectious mononucleosis in young people.

Young natural killer cells combat primary infectionThe researchers used an animal model to show that the loss of innate immune control by young natural killer cells can lead to infectious mononucleosis. "Young natural killer cells, which small children in particular have in abundance, seem to be especially suited to killing off the cells that multiply EBV", according to Christian Münz, Professor of Experimental Immunology at the University of Zurich. "This weakens the primary infection and infectious mononucleosis does not break out".
Advertisement

Without the defense of the natural killer cells, EBV multiplies so dramatically during the primary infection phase that the aggressive response of the adaptive immune system - chiefly of the T killer cells - makes the infected person sick with infectious mononucleosis. "In the animal model we also observed weight loss and the increased occurrence of EBV-associated lymphomas. Consequently, natural killer cells seem to play a key role in the development of the primary infection with Epstein-Barr Virus". This is how Christian Münz explains the results of the study.

Young people could benefit from a vaccinationAdolescents who are not yet carriers of EBV are at an increased risk of developing infectious mononucleosis. Christian Münz's work group is currently examining vaccinations that could protect against EBV infection. This could prevent the outbreak of infectious mononucleosis and reduce the related risk of developing Hodgkin lymphoma.

Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2021 - It's time to RISE
First-Ever Successful Pig-To-Human Kidney Transplantation
World Osteoporosis Day 2021 -
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Parkinsons Disease Surgical Treatment Infectious Mononucleosis Throat Disorders - Symptom Evaluation 

Recommended Reading
Herpes Virus and Cocaine Found on Many Library Copes of Erotic Bestseller ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’
Researchers found that the erotic bestseller 'Fifty Shades of Grey' carried traces of herpes virus ....
Herpes Virus may Lead to Cancer!
Most of us don't know it, but we are infected by the herpes virus aka Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)...
Latent Herpes Viruses Activated By Programmed Cell Death
Apoptosis, a natural process of programmed cell death, can reactivate latent herpesviruses in the .....
Herpes Virus Exploits Immune Response to Cause Infection
Researchers have said that the herpes simplex virus type-1 (HSV-1) exploits an immune system ......
Infectious Mononucleosis
Called also the kissing diesase, Mononucleosis is an infectious disease due to infection with the Ep...
Throat Disorders - Symptom Evaluation
Throat problems are common, several throat problems go away on their own but some may be much more g...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use