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For immune system, vitamin B’s the tip-off

Specialized immune cells recognize the vitamin B synthesized by bacteria and yeast, and this signal sets off their fight against infection, scientists say.

The study, published in the journal Nature, is the first to reveal that the highly abundant mucosal associated invariant T cells (MAIT cells) recognize products of vitamin B synthesis from bacteria and yeast in an early step of activating the immune system.

The finding opens up potential targets to improve treatments or to develop a vaccine for tuberculosis.

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