How body fights harmful bacteria

  • Researchers have cracked the mystery of how our body quickly prevents an infection from spreading uncontrollably during wound healing, an advance that may lead to new ways to counteract harmful bacteria.
  • A new study found that fragments of thrombin — a common blood protein found in wounds — can aggregate both bacteria and their toxins, something that was not see in normal blood plasma. The aggregation takes place quickly and causes bacteria and toxins not only to gather but also to be “eaten” by the body’s inflammatory cells.
  • The discovery links aggregation and amyloid formation to our primary defence against infections — our innate immunity.
  • It is well known that various aggregating proteins can cause amyloid disease, in skin or internal organs, such as the brain.


  • Amyloidosis is a condition in which an abnormal protein called amyloid builds up in your tissues and organs.
  • When it does, it affects their shape and how they work.
  • Amyloidosis is a serious health problem that can lead to life-threatening organ failure.

Risk Factors for Amyloidosis

  • Men get amyloidosis more often than women. Your risk for amyloidosis increases as you grow older. Amyloidosis affects 15% of patients with a form of cancer called multiple myeloma.
  • Amyloidosis may also occur in people with end-stage kidney disease who are on dialysis for a long time (see “Dialysis-related amyloidosis” above).

Symptoms of Amyloidosis

  • Symptoms of amyloidosis are often subtle.
  • They can also vary greatly depending on where the amyloid protein is collecting in the body.
  • It is important to note that the symptoms described below may be due to a variety of different health problems.
  • Only your doctor can make a diagnosis of amyloidosis.

General symptoms of amyloidosis may include:

  • Changes in skin color
  • Clay-colored stools
  • Fatigue
  • Feeling of fullness
  • Joint pain
  • Low red blood cell count (anemia)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling of the tongue
  • Tingling and numbness in legs and feet
  • Weak hand grip
  • Weakness
  • Weight loss

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