By Wrapping Itself in Antibodies, this Bacterium May Become A Stable, Beneficial Part of the Gut
Published:11 May2018    Source:Science
Antibodies are one of the body’s most effective defenses against microbial pathogens. But at least one of these immune system proteins helps an apparently harmless bacterium make itself a lasting home in the human gut.
The bacterium seems to coax immunoglobulin A (IgA), one of the most abundant antibodies produced by mammals, to cover its surface, helping it stick to the mucus lining of the gut and become a stable part of the microbiome. The finding, in germ-free mice, could one day help researchers trying to treat a variety of conditions by adding microbes to the human body.