Researchers, led by Dr. Stephan Schwander, at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-School of Public Health, has determined a possible link between exposure to urban air pollution and a change in the function of immune cells that protect against the bacteria that cause tuberculosis (Mycobacterium tuberculosis). Writing in the Journal of Immunology, the scientists describe their findings that exposure to diesel exhaust particles suppresses the function of phagocytic immune cells (a type of white blood cells that ingest foreign particles, such as bacteria) on a cellular level. They conclude that this exposure probably causes exposed individuals to be less able to fight off new Mycobacterium tuberculosis infections or to suppress a reactivation of a latent infection by these bacteria.
Relevant Locations: Newark, NJ, USA
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