Circadian rhythms can boost the body’s ability to fight intestinal bacterial infections, UC Irvine researchers have found. This suggests that targeted treatments may be particularly effective for pathogens such as salmonella that prompt a strong immune system response governed by circadian genes. It also helps explain why disruptions in the regular day-night pattern – as experienced by, say, night-shift workers or frequent fliers – may raise susceptibility to infectious diseases.
UC Irvine’s Paolo Sassone-Corsi, one of the world’s leading researchers on circadian rhythm genetics, and microbiologist Manuela Raffatellu led the study, which appears this week in the early online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Marina Bellet, a postdoctoral researcher from Italy’s University of Perugia also played a key role in the experiments. Read more here.