Scientists learn how pathogens hack our immune systems to go undetected

A new report appearing in the March 2014 issue of The FASEB Journal
helps shed light on what drives the evolution of pathogens, as well as
how our bodies adapt to ward them off. Specifically, the report shows
that our bodies naturally employ a mechanism, called "CD33rSiglecs,"
that not only dampens unwanted immune responses against one's own cells,
but also evolves rapidly to recognize foreign invaders. What's more,
the report explains how pathogens exploit this immunological
"vulnerability" of "self-recognition" to evade our bodies' defenses.
This leads to a seemingly endless "arms race" between constantly
evolving pathogens and immune systems. Understanding this phenomenon may
become crucial for developing novel drugs against various pathogens
that try to take advantage of this system.

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