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New info: how malaria changes T-cells to evade the immune system

I'm not enough of a scientist (okay, I'm NOT a scientist at all) to imagine what application this might have in Lyme, babesiosis, etc., but it sounds like progress.

"How Malaria Hijacks Your Immune System"

The way the disease tricks the body's defenses could help researchers develop better treatments.

by Conor Myhrvold -- Wednesday, July 18, 2012, in 'Technology Review', published by MIT

posted at:  www.technologyreview.com/view/428544/how-malaria-hijacks-your-immune-system/

Research published last week in PNAS shows that malaria succeeds thanks to a surprising trick. It creates a signaling molecule called a cytokine that disrupts the normal immune system response. This insight could be crucial to developing a cure, and it explains why it often takes a second infection to overwhelm the immune system.

A healthy immune system produces both short-lived and long-lived immune cells. The latter, called memory T cells, sustain an attack after the initial immune response and protect a person when reinfection occurs.

A team lead by researchers at Yale University found that the parasite responsible for malaria creates a signaling molecule that converts long-term memory T cells into short-term immune cells, thereby tipping the balance in favor of the parasite.

The parasite, called plasmodium, is transmitted from one person to another by mosquitoes and lives in the liver before multiplying and circulating in the bloodstream. Malaria infects at least 150 million people per year and kills over half a million people, according to the WHO, and the CDC estimates that half the world’s population is susceptible to the disease.
---------------------(this is the entire post at the initiating website)--------------------------
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Avatar universal
Very interesting!  I understand that excessive cytokines are part of a Lyme infection, too, but I don't really understand the role they play.

I recently stumbled across a copy of an Alan MacDonald, PhD slideshow from a presentation he did in 2008, the same year he was featured in Under Our Skin.  It explained biofilms, and how certain bacteria, Lyme included, could could live in their biofilm protected colonies, safe from the immune system and from antibiotics. He also described Babesia living in the biofilm colony along with Lyme. Hmm. Maybe this has something to do with Babesia interfering with treatment for Lyme. Maybe Malaria and Babesia are really good at forming biofilms and persisting.

Now we just need some open minded researchers to study Babesia, Lyme, and cytokines to figure out what dance they are doing.

A decisive Babesia cure would be terrific for Lyme + Babesia sufferers. A decisive Malaria cure would be an amazing breakthrough benefitting tens of millions.
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1763947 tn?1334055319
Thank you Dr Jackie, and I mean it. You are as close to a doctor that we have on here, well it may be a tie with Rico.
It was interesting reading and nice to see in print.
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