June 10, 2019 – A New T


Anchor lead: Can a new type of immune cell help a common infection? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Gamma/delta T is a type of immune cell that helps wall off a common skin infection- staph – and prevent it from spreading throughout the body, research by Lloyd Miller and colleagues at Johns Hopkins and several other institutions has shown. Miller says harnessing this aspect of the immune response is critical.

Miller: Staph aureus infections can become invasive and they can cause severe skin infections and they can actually spread into the bloodstream and cause bacteremia and sepsis and cause life threatening infections. The protective response is what we’re trying to learn in the lab is how the body contains and clears staph infections. And this is really important because staph aureus is becoming a multidrug resistant to common antibiotics. So finding new mechanisms that can actually target your own body’s immune response to help clear these infections is of paramount importance.  :30

Miller says current research is focused on finding out more about this subclass of immune cells and how to activate them. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.