Lymph Nodes Infected With Intestinal Worms Boost Immune System, Study Says

First Posted: May 07, 2016 04:40 AM EDT

The researchers from Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne discovered an unexpected way of how the immune system responds to infections. They found out that the lymph node also has more immune cells when the host is infected with intestinal worms.

Science Daily reports that the study was printed in Cell reports. It was made by a lab of Nicola Harris at EPFL and first authored by Lalit Kumar Dubey.

The study involved mice model. Dubey has noticed that the lymph nodes of mice that had been infected with the intestinal worm, which is called the Helimosomoides polygyrus bakeri had grown in size. They found out that the mice lymph nodes were producing more follicles. This suggested that they were creating more B-cells in respond to worm infection.

The scholars showed that the formation of new follicles is significant for combating infection as it enhances the production of more antibodies. Harris said that the worms are large creatures that produce a host of their own molecules upon infection. She further said that one of these molecules stimulate the host's immune system while others suppress it.

The new production of B-cell follicles has only been fortified in worm infections. Harris said that they are currently looking at this effect with the bacterial infection in the mouse. She added that they are pressing a deeper understanding of this process to see if it is involved in creating enough antibodies in respond to vaccines.

The lymph node is the kidney-shaped organ that can be found in the lymphatic system. The lymph nodes serve as biological filters for toxins in the bodies and they are also responsible for breaking down pathogens or the foreign invaders. They have microscopic compartments, which are called follicles wherein they store a specific type of immune cells called the B-cells.

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