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Jefferson researchers mirror human response to bacterial infection and resolution in mice

Imitating human diseases using an animal model is a difficult task, but Thomas Jefferson University researchers have managed to come very close.

Reporting in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a team of Jefferson immunologists found that a specialized "human immune system" mouse model closely mimics a person's specific response and resolution of a tick-borne infection known as relapsing fever, caused by the bacteria Borrelia hermsii.

The response is so strikingly similar that it gives good reason for researchers to apply the strategy to a host of other infections to better understand how the immune system attempts to fights them— which could ultimately lead to precise treatment and prevention strategies.

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