Wednesday, 16 March 2011

New Research: Friendly Bacteria Fight Against Influenza

A T cell on the right. Image courtesy of Electron Microscopy Facility, The National Cancer Institute, Frederick (NCI-Frederick).

Joel Kontinen

Not only do bacteria promote digestion. They also help organisms resist influenza infections. This is the take-away message of a recent study at Yale University led by Akiko Iwasaki.

As reported in Nature news, “neomycin-sensitive bacteria naturally present in the mice's bodies provided a trigger that led to the production of T cells and antibodies that could fight an influenza infection in the lungs.”

Iwasaki and colleagues published their research in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Although the results of mice tests cannot be applied directly to humans, the research suggests that in the very good world of Genesis all bacteria were beneficial and only later the Fall caused some to become harmful.


Maxmen, Amy. 2011. Friendly bacteria fight the flu. Nature News (14 March).