IDR-1: Amino-acid peptide that boosts immune system

A powerful immune system is the pre-requisite for a healthy body. Our immune system is considered as the guard which fights with the negative bodies that tend to make us sick. And to help our immune system in its battle against the negative bodies, we have modern antibiotics which prevents us from the deadly attack of bacterias. But certain bacterias are found to be drug-resistant. The most dangerous of the lot are vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which are almost antibiotic-resistant. To find a solution for these superbugs, Immunologist Robert Hancock of the University of British Columbia studied a group of short proteins, or peptides, that in high concentrations can kill bacteria. He administered the peptides to superbug-infected mice, anticipating that the peptides might trigger ‘sepsis’, a potentially lethal condition brought on by bacteria in the bloodstream. But was amazed to see result which was the opposite of sepsis, but with one drawback that the peptides also caused allergy like reactions and killed healthy intestinal cells. Amazed by this experience, Hancock and his team made shorter peptides that they hoped would prevent sepsis without causing other complications. And the result of their effort is the innate defense regulator (IDR-1), consisting of 13-amino-acid peptide. IDR-1 does not directly kill the bacteria, instead it cautions the prime immune response of a body known as innate immunity. Once the innate immunity is stimulated, it guards our body for any subsequent infections by way of sending surplus white blood cells called monocytes and macrophages to gobble up invading pathogens but fewer of the sepsis inducing neutrophils. Hancock has co-founded a company to commercialize IDR-1, and he expects the clinical trials of IDR-1 to begin in 12 to 15 months. Hancock’s study has put our immune system in the fore-ground, in our battle against harmful bacterias. Online Behavior

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