Behavioral Risk Factor compounds poor diet in African Americans

Gram-negative bacteria might subvert the immune system by tricking interferon-gamma (IFN) signalling according to research conducted at the UCI Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The findings published today in the Journal of Clinical Investigation suggest a fundamental error may underlie the protective effect of diet in patients with head and neck carcinomas or bacteremia an acute bacterial infection. Because of these malaise-inducing bacterial strains a specific modulator of the bodys immune system IFN signalling can hijack and promote immune-system disorders.

Genetic or environmental causes for survival such as diet can influence the gut microbiome and its ability to fight off disease for example said Simon Torro professor and co-senior author of the study. It is quite common for people with gastrointestinal malignancies to take existing cancer drugs and develop a life-threatening bacterial infection. We know that obesity can trigger cancer so we wanted to study whether the microbiome can disrupt immune function.

To find out the team of researchers at the UCI Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center compared experimental models of cancer based on the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection of mice with and without a specific mutation in a gene for interferon-gamma (IFN-G) signalling – a key contributor to early-phase immunity. In addition they were able to tease out the different effects of the two strains of the EBV strain which can also cause viral diseases.