Antibodies attack immune proteins

February 1, 2010

Two studies published online on February 1 in the Journal of Experimental Medicine reveal that patients with a rare autoimmune disease produce antibodies that attack microbe-fighting immune proteins called cytokines. These findings may help explain why these patients suffer recurrent yeast infections.

Autoimmune polyendocrine syndrome, or APS-I, afflicts one in 100,000 people and is characterized by disrupted thyroid and adrenal gland function and recurrent skin infections with one type of yeast. Normally, the produces cytokines that help protect the body against airborne yeast and other environmental .

Two teams of researchers—one led by Anthony Meager at the National Institute for Biological Standards and Control (UK), and the other led by Desa Lilic at Newcastle University (UK) and Jean-Laurent Casanova at Rockefeller University (New York)—found that patients with APS-I produce autoantibodies that bind to and disarm these yeast-fighting cytokines.

It is not yet clear why these patients are prone to infection with only one type of yeast. But these studies suggest that cytokine replacement therapy might be considered in the treatment of APS-I patients.

Explore further: Common misdiagnosis: most women believe they have a yeast infection when they don't

More information:
-- Kisand, K., et al. 2010. J. Exp. Med. doi:1doi:10.1084/jem.20091983
-- Puel, A., et al. 2010. J. Exp. Med. doi:10.1084/jem.20091983

Related Stories

People with Job's syndrome lack specific immune cells

March 17, 2008

Scientists have made another major breakthrough--the second in the past year--in understanding a rare immune disorder called Job’s syndrome. Job’s syndrome is characterized by recurrent and often severe bacterial and ...

Mounting a multi-layered attack on fungal infections

September 8, 2009

Unravelling a microbe's multilayer defence mechanisms could lead to effective new treatments for potentially lethal fungal infections in cancer patients and others whose natural immunity is weakened.

Recommended for you

How the finch changes its tune

August 3, 2015

Like top musicians, songbirds train from a young age to weed out errors and trim variability from their songs, ultimately becoming consistent and reliable performers. But as with human musicians, even the best are not machines. ...

Machine Translates Thoughts into Speech in Real Time

December 21, 2009

( -- By implanting an electrode into the brain of a person with locked-in syndrome, scientists have demonstrated how to wirelessly transmit neural signals to a speech synthesizer. The "thought-to-speech" process ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.