The scientists from the Seattle Children’s Research Institute have discovered that a unique group of white blood cells known as basophils play a vital role in the immune response against bacterial infection in order to curb the development of sepsis. The article published in Nature Immunology can help the other researchers open new doors. As per the researchers, the new findings can help the 30 Million people being affected on a yearly basis across the world. In the present state, sepsis is one of the global killers persistent among the children. It is still unclear of why the immune system commences sepsis during its fight against infection. The predictions regarding sepsis origin and range of immune responses caused by sepsis in different individuals are the questions the researchers are looking answers for.
Right from the early stages of the infection’s progression into sepsis and the changes undergoing in the immune system are being studied by a Seattle Children’s team headed by Piliponsky along with the Stanford University School of Medicine and other international labs. The basophils generally initiate the immune response against an infection. They make up about 1% of the white blood cells. The scientists had dug out the fact that the basophils can improve the immune defense against a bacterial infection without much scientific evidence.
In the immune response, the basophils enhanced inflammation at the early stages as well as improved the survival chances by slowly releasing the tumor necrosis factor (TNF). The TNF signals the other cells to change their gear and create an inflammatory response vital for protecting and healing the damaged tissue. Thus, it can be concluded that the reduced levels of basophils can lead to sepsis. The basophils even though present in low numbers can trigger a chain of events for commencing an immune response against infection as well as improving the effectiveness of the response. The basophils study can help focus on the risk of sepsis or inhibiting the dysregulated immune response triggering sepsis. Researchers from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and North Carolina State University had developed a technique which could stop allergic reactions by eliminating a major receptor from mast cells and basophils. This study is assumed to have future implications for the treatment of asthma and skin allergies.