Death for life – The Leishmania parasite needs dead competitors to outwit the immune system

Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have found out how unicellular parasites succeed in tricking our immune system. To be successful, live and dead leishmania parasites must enter the host cells simultaneously. The dead Leishmania are degraded in the cell by means of a self-digestion mechanism (autophagy). This sets off a process that prevents activation of specific immune cells (T cells). A report on the results of this research is available in the online version of Autophagy of 24 March 2015. (Mehr in: Pressemitteilungen – idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)