Articles on Immune system

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People who have big weekends tend to take more sickies at work. from shutterstock.com

Could a weekend of binge-drinking worsen your cold?

There's no doubt chronic alcohol abuse changes the body's infection-defence system. But here's what the research says on whether a binge-drinking weekend can make people more susceptible to illness.
Avoiding peanuts is currently the only way to prevent allergic reactions. sharyn morrow/Flickr

Peanut allergy treatment is on the horizon – but don’t drop the EpiPen yet

Rates of food allergies have increased over recent decades and are at an all-time high. While we don’t know the full extent of the allergy epidemic, the rate of hospitalisation for food allergies has quadrupled…
The bacteria living in your gut have more to do with your immune system than you might think. Knorre/Shutterstock

What do the bacteria living in your gut have to do with your immune system?

Your intestines are home to many different kinds of bacteria (and some non-bacterial organisms as well). Together they’re called the “gut microbiome.” They come from the food you eat – and whatever else…
A parasite wants to live with you, and to do that it needs to convince your body’s immune system to ignore it. Sebastian Kaulitzki/Shutterstock

Bugs as treatment: coming to a clinic near you…

When you’re sick, you want the most effective treatment to help get you back on your feet. But what if that involved bugs? Maggots and leeches have been used for decades and are still supplied to hospitals…
The innate immune response causes the common signs of inflammation including swelling, pain, heat, redness and loss of function. Brandon Daniel/Flickr

Explainer: how does the immune system work?

The immune system is critical for protecting against illness-causing organisms, such as viruses, bacteria and fungi, which are collectively known as pathogens. Without it, we would quickly become infected…

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