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Stem cells in TB protection racket

Your own stem cells could help deadly bacteria hide in your body - a discovery that could inspire new treatments for tuberculosis.

Over 2 billion people are infected with TB. Typically, the bacteria lie latent inside balls of immune cells, or granulomas, in the lungs. Carriers get sick when the immune system is taxed further - by HIV, for example - freeing the bacteria.

Gobardhan Das and colleagues at the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology in New Delhi, India, found that in infected organs of mice with TB, but not in healthy mice, immune cells called T-cells are suppressed. Crucially, this suppression was not via any known immune-regulating cells.
 
 

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