Sign up for Englemed updates from TwitterSign up for Englemed updates from Facebook
Contact Englemed
Our contact email address.
We can provide a specialist, tailored health and medical news service for your site.
Click here for more information
RSS graphic XML Graphic Add to Google
About Englemed news services - services and policies.
Englemed News Blog - Ten years and counting.
Diary of a reluctant allergy sufferer - How the British National Health Service deals with allergy.
BookshopFor books on women's health, healthy eating ideas, mental health issues, diabetes, etc click here

WWW Englemed
Copyright Notice. All reports, text and layout copyright Englemed Ltd, 52 Perry Avenue, Birmingham UK B42 2NE. Co Registered in England No 7053778 Some photos copyright Englemed Ltd, others may be used with permission of copyright owners.
Disclaimer: Englemed is a news service and does not provide health advice. Advice should be taken from a medical professional or appropriate health professional about any course of treatment or therapy.
Meat hazards may be through body fat
Wed March 3rd - Meat eaters may suffer from increased health risks mainly because they carry more body fat than others, researchers reported today. More
HIV immune population found in central Africa
Wed March 3rd - Thousands of people in central Africa may have immunity to HIV infection, it was announced last night in a discovery that researchers say will open the way to new treatments. More
On 09/10/2020 William Haworth wrote:
How long is recovery time after proceedure... on Ablation cuts atrial fibrillat...
On 08/02/2018 David Kelly wrote:
Would you like to write a piece about this to be i... on Researchers unveil new pain re...
On 23/10/2017 Cristina Pereira wrote: on HIV breakthrough - MRC...
On 12/09/2017 Aparna srikantam wrote:
Brilliant finding! indeed a break through in under... on Leprosy research breakthrough...
On 01/07/2017 Annetta wrote:
I have been diagnosed with COPD for over 12 years.... on Seaweed plan for antimicrobial...
For books, child safety and gift ideas click here

Newborns' immune system surprisingly adept

Wednesday September 24th, 2014

A newborn baby's immune system is better able to fight infections than previously thought, researchers say today.

If they have an infection, newborns cannot use the antibacterial and antiviral responses of so-called T helper type 1 cells, as adults can.

The researchers, from King's College London, UK, explain that it is generally believed that babies have an immature immune system that does not cause the same inflammatory response as adults.

But the team has now found that newborns are able to use a small number of T helper type 1 cells, which can limit the potential damage from inflammation when fighting an infection, and allow helpful bacteria to colonise the intestines.

For their study, they analysed blood samples from 28 very premature babies over the first few weeks after birth. This allowed them to outline the properties of newborns' T cells. Findings appeared in the journal Nature Medicine on 21 September.

While T cells in newborns are different to those in adults, they make an effective antibacterial molecule called interleukin 8 which triggers neutrophils to attack dangerous bacteria.

The production of interleukin-8 in the face of infection "was readily apparent in preterm babies, particularly those experiencing neonatal infections and severe pathology", they add. Interleukin-8 producing T cells were rare in adult blood samples, they found.

Researcher Dr Deena Gibbons said: "We found that babies have an in-built anti-bacterial defence mechanism that works differently to adults, but nevertheless may be effective in protecting them. This may also be a mechanism by which the baby protects itself in the womb from infections of the mother. The next stage of our work will be to better understand the pathways that result in the immune cells of newborns being so different to those in adults."

Gibbons, D. et al. Interleukin-8 (CXCL8) production is a signatory T cell effector function of human newborn infants. Nature Medicine 21 September 2014 doi:10.1038/nm.3670

Tags: Child Health | Childbirth and Pregnancy | Flu & Viruses | UK News

Printer friendly page Printer friendly page

Comment on this article:

<a>,<b> & <p> tags allowed
Please enter the letters displayed:
(not case sensitive)