Defense Mechanism

Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have discovered a mechanism through which meningitis-causing bacteria can evade the immune system.

One of the signs of an infection is elevated temperatures or fever, which typically boost our immune system‘s ability to fight illness. In the study, researchers found that two meningitis bacteria – Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae respond to increasing temperatures by producing safeguards that keep them from getting killed, increasing their chances of survival. The findings are published in the journal PLoS Pathogens. Bacterial meningitis is one of the most severe types and a major cause of death and disability in children worldwide.

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