Crouse Health Online: Wellness is just a click away.
Share Share
  |  Connect with Us: 
large
med
small
Text Size
 

Health News



Vulnerability to Anthrax Varies Widely: Study

Vulnerability to Anthrax Varies Widely: Study

02/06/12

MONDAY, Feb. 6 (HealthDay News) -- People's susceptibility to anthrax toxin is determined by their genes and can vary greatly among individuals, a new study says.

Anthrax is an infectious disease widely regarded as a potential bioterrorism weapon.

Stanford University School of Medicine researchers analyzed immune cells from 234 people and found that the cells of three of the people were virtually insensitive to anthrax toxin, while the cells of others were hundreds of times more sensitive than those of other people.

The findings could help lead to new treatments and could also have important implications for U.S. national security, according to a university news release. For example, people known to be more resistant could act as first-line responders in an anthrax bioterrorism attack.

The study appears online Feb. 6 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"This research offers an important proof of principle. They've showed that genetically determined variations in the level of expression of a human protein can influence the susceptibility of host cells to anthrax toxin," Dr. David Relman said in the release.

Relman is a professor of microbiology and immunology and of medicine at Stanford, chair of the Institute of Medicine's Forum on Microbial Threats and a member of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service's National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity. He was not involved in the study.

"The findings also provide a possible means for predicting who is likely to become seriously ill after exposure, which could be extremely useful when faced with a large number of exposed people, such as was the case during the 2001 anthrax attacks," Relman said. (A week after the 9/11 attacks, letters carrying anthrax spores were mailed within the United States, killing five people and infecting 17 others.)

"Finally, they could lead to the development of novel treatment strategies, perhaps by blocking the interaction between the toxin and the receptor, or by down-regulating its expression," he added.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about anthrax.

Copyright © 2012 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

OF INTEREST:
 

Latest News

Crouse Employee Lois Wille Walks the Simply Well Lifestyle Talk
more >

MedEx Bedside Prescription Delivery Service

Free service offers convenience, patient education at discharge.
more >

CrouseSports Express After-Hours Ortho Care

Immediate care of orthopedic injuries in kids and adults.
more >

Weight Loss Surgery

Is it right for you? Attend a free information seminar held twice monthly.
more >

Quality at Crouse

See how Crouse Hospital strives to provide the best in patient care.
more >

Cheer Up That Special Someone

Say get well or welcome a new arrival with a gift purchased right at Crouse.

more >

Make an Online Donation Now

Your donation of any amount helps support Crouse services & programs in a meaningful way.
more >

Shop Online Now

Say get well, thinking of you or welcome new baby with a unique gift from the Crouse Gift Shop.

more >