A group of researchers has developed a new strain of the plague that stimulates the immune cells in mice, helping it fight off the deadly variety when it is later exposed to it. The key, say the scientists from the University of Massachusetts Medical School, was working with the coat of fatty sugars and protein on the plague bacterium Yersinia pestis. These coats allow the plague to escape detection by the mammalian immune system. Scientists reengineered the coats to have the opposite effect, and essentially put the plague back on the radar screen of the immune system. Their work is detailed in the October issue of the journal Nature Immunology.
- here's the UPI report on the plague research
PLUS: Earlier this month researchers at Rockefeller University concluded that Yersinia immobilizes the immune system in an unexpected way. Release