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‘Bad Guy’ Cells Unexpectedly Prove Vital for Stopping Deadly C. Difficile

They Cause Allergies and Asthma, But They Also May Save Your Life

Researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have identified immune cells vital for protecting us from potentially fatal C. difficile infection. Surprisingly, those cells are often vilified for their role in causing asthma and allergies. But when it comes to C. difficile, they could be the difference in life and death.

With the discovery, the researchers have answered some of the greatest questions about C. diff, shed light on why antibiotics lead to severe C. diff and identified a potential way for doctors to prevent the life-threatening infection – and possibly other infections as well.

The Role of Antibiotics
Bill Petri, MD, PhD, chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases and International Health at the UVA Health System, hailed the discovery by UVA’s Erica L. Buonomo, PhD, and colleagues as “the most remarkable breakthrough I have participated in as a scientist.”

More about University of Virginia
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