Study prompts rethink on fighting infections

Chest X-rayResearchers in Sheffield and Edinburgh have discovered that decreased oxygen levels in the body can alter the way immune cells behave. Low oxygen levels are a common problem for patients in intensive care or with chronic lung diseases. These patients are also prone to bacterial infections.

This study investigated the link between low oxygen levels and bacterial infections and discovered that the outcomes of lung and skin infections can be determined by the response of white blood cells, that fight infection, to low oxygen levels. This work highlights the potential importance of finding treatments to modify how our bodies respond to infection in combination with strategies to kill bacteria.

The study has been published in the journal “Science Immunology”

DOI: 10.1126/sciimmunol.aal2861

Link to University of Edinburgh News Article: http://www.ed.ac.uk/news/2017/study-prompts-rethink-on-tackling-infections