Infectious diseases have always been one of the biggest health concerns in the world. Microbial strains have become more resistant to antibiotics, people have weaker immune systems because of their life choices, international traffic and globalization favour the spread of deadly diseases and the threat of bioterrorism are all factors in the growing health concern and the need for new and improved therapeutic and prophylactic strategies. |
Immune modulatory molecules are the hope of a healthier future. Apart from classic antibiotics, cytokines and its inhibitors represent a promise in antimicrobial therapy or immune adjuvant, for vaccination purposes.
Cytokines are the signaling glycoproteins and proteins category used in cellular communication. Cytokines are essential to the development of the adaptive and innate immune response, as well as in the proper functioning of the immune response.
Cytokines, whether in the form of transgenes or recombinant proteins exert antimicrobial effect through memory development or by dampening undesired immune responses that result from infection. Cytokines enhance immune activation and dampen undesired inflammatory responses. They can therefore be considered the cure of the future.
Over the last twenty years, many clinical trials and experiments have been conducted in order to find successful cytokine and protein therapies. For example, hepatitis C is successfully being treated using cytokines, and many other cytokines and inhibitors are yet to be tested and used to cure horrible infectious diseases.
Other types of proteins are also the future of therapeutic strategies. They are very important to our body, but not just to gain muscle mass or stay in shape. Damaged tissues can be rebuilt with the help of proteins and our day to day activity requires the use of proteins as well.
Proteins, like cytokines, represent a form of treatment for different diseases. Studies have shown, for example, that proteins extracted from mammal liver, especially goat liver, are able to lower blood levels of TNF (Tumor Necrosis Factor). They can be used to treat and even cure multiple illnesses, such as septic shock, rheumatoid arthritis and even multiple sclerosis.
Proteins, mainly cytokines, can also be used in veterinary medicine, especially for cattle, pigs and horses. They can be used to diagnose and treat certain diseases that can appear in animals. This type of protein cannot only serve as treatment for certain diseases, but it can also monitor them. Cytokines can serve as vaccine adjutants but they can also have a significant role in chemotherapy.
There are numerous diseases that have no cure and there are even more others for which the available treatment is ineffective. Most diseases must be discovered in early stages in order to be successfully treated and even then, there is a chance that the disease may come back.
Existing treatments are mostly effective, but we face new challenges everyday and need to find new ways of treatment for both old and new diseases. Proteins in general, and cytokines in particular, represent a solid, successful treatment, as well as a hope for future improved treatment strategies. The full benefic effects of proteins are yet to be discovered.
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