BPoD has moved!

BPoD has recently changed our domain name - we can now be found at bpod.org.uk

Please update your bookmarks!

Now in our 12th year of bringing you beautiful imagery from biomedical science every day

Search the archive of over 4000 images

Intoxicated Immunity

Mechanism underlying impaired function of immune cells called neutrophils by alcohol consumption revealed

11 September 2020

Intoxicated Immunity

Long-term excess consumption of alcohol causes widespread damage, raising the risk of liver disease but also weakening the immune system. Consequences include increased vulnerability to lung infections, such as forms of pneumonia caused by the fungus Aspergillus fumigatus (pictured); typically fought off easily by healthy individuals, these can be fatal to those with reduced immunity. To understand how alcohol affects immune responses, researchers studied the impact of A. fumigatus infection on mice provided with ethanol in their diet over three months. They found that alcohol especially impaired the actions of neutrophils, immune cells responsible for destroying the fungus. In ethanol-fed mice, neutrophils were less effective at killing the fungus, reaching the infected area more slowly and releasing fewer toxic reactive oxygen species, ultimately making the mice more susceptible to severe disease. These new insights could suggest better ways to tackle infections in patients dealing with the effects of alcohol abuse.

Written by Emmanuelle Briolat

Search The Archive

Submit An Image

Follow on Tumblr

Follow on Instagram

What is BPoD?

BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC Laboratory of Medical Sciences until Jul 2023, it is now run independently by a dedicated team of scientists and writers. The website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biology, and its influence on medicine. The ever-growing archive of more than 4000 research images documents over a decade of progress. Explore the collection and see what you discover. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.

Read More

BPoD is also available in Catalan at www.bpod.cat with translations by the University of Valencia.