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Exploitive prions versus your innocent immune system

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Prions are infectious prions which are responsible for often fatal neurological diseases in mammals but just how do they do this? What allows them to enter your body? How does it initially replicate itself? And how does it get into your brain? Research out last week in PLoS Pathogens shows that dendritic cells - the sentinel immune cells of your body - may play a role. These cells were shown for the first time to be associated with very high levels of infectious prion proteins inside the spleens of experimentally infected mice. The prion-laden dendritic cells may traffic around your body and allow the prions to infect a multitude of tissues - including your brain.
 
 

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