Blog Post

An Open Letter from a Pathogen: T Cells & B Cells

By Ariane Chia Ling Tsai, C2ST Intern, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Institute for Genomic Biology

Do you ever wonder how our bodies protect themselves from threats? 

Not only are our bodies constantly under threat from the outside world, but they also naturally produce cells that could be harmful, like cancer! Thankfully, our bodies have built up their own defense systems to fight off these dangers. In this article, we will take a closer look at an aspect of the immune system called adaptive immunity, where T cells and B cells work hand in hand to eliminate pathogens from our bodies.

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Blog Post

The RSV Immunity Gap

By Veronica Villanueva, C2ST Intern, Rush University

It’s that time of the year again–time for warm tea, cozy sweaters, and runny noses. 

Autumn is “cold and flu season” due to several factors including: reduced immune function due to cold weather, increased allergies making you more susceptible to viruses, and close proximity to people increasing viral spread. This is why the CDC recommends getting your flu vaccine in early fall (September/October) allowing you to maintain immunity through the cold months.

While we have a yearly vaccine for the flu, there are several other viruses that are common during this time of year. A virus wreaking havoc this year is respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). RSV is a respiratory virus that causes cold-like symptoms including a runny nose, fever, coughing, sneezing, and wheezing. It is very common (around 2 million cases a year) and people usually recover within a week thinking they just had a cold. 

For some people, especially infants and young children, it can cause bronchitis or pneumonia, leading to hospitalization.

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