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Press releases

Scientists have discovered why growing up on a farm might protect children from developing allergies. Using studies in both mice and humans, they found that exposure to farm dust increases expression of a protective protein that suppresses the inflammatory immune system by modifying the communication between the lining of the lungs and the immune system. The findings are presented today (07/12/16) at the Joint Congress of the British and Dutch Societies for Immunology, taking place in Liverpool, UK.

Scanning electron micrograph of a human T lymphocyte (also called a T cell) from the immune system of a healthy donor.

Researchers have developed an artificial structure that mimics the cell membrane, which can switch on immune cells to attack and destroy a designated target.  This method has potential to be used as a future cancer immunotherapy treatment as well as providing more insight into how immune cells are activated to find and kill cancer cells. The findings are presented today (07/12/2016) at the Joint Congress of the British and Dutch Societies for Immunology, taking place in Liverpool, UK.

A new proof of concept study has shown that an imaging technique more commonly used to assess cancer patients may also be of help in assessing disease and treatment effects in patients with inflammatory diseases.  The study is published in Clinical & Experimental Immunology.    

This is our response statement to the House of Commons Science & Technology Committee report on the implications and opportunities of Brexit for science and research.

Swine flu virus. Credit: NIAID

A paper published today in Science has reported that an individual’s immunity to different strains of flu can vary depending on the year of their birth.

Zika virus

A paper published today in the journal Nature has reported that male mice infected with a mouse-adapted strain of Zika virus can experience tissue injury associated with decreased testis size and reduced levels of two sex hormones and of sperm cells in the seminal fluid. 

Professor Peter Openshaw says that it is crucial that local authorities and the NHS take joint action to reverse the trend of declining vaccination rates in England. 


Dr Louisa James, British Society for Immunology spokesperson, says considering the increased prevalence of food allergies over recent decades, new guidelines on the timing of introduction of allergenic food to the infant diet are warranted.

Allergy graphic with pollen

Dr Sheena Cruickshank, British Society for Immunology spokesperson, says without knowing more about how this work was carried out and how the studies were selected, it is hard to judge the robustness of this finding. 

Dr Peter Barlow says study represents a promising step forward in the rapid development of a safe and robust vaccine against Zika virus infection in humans.

Professor Peter Openshaw, President of the British Society for Immunology, says immunology shares with other branches of science an in-built internationalism that must continue to thrive, whatever the political climate.

The BSI has released a statement in response to the UK Government announcement that two new vaccine programmes will be launched this September to protect babies and young people against the meningococcal bacterium. 

The BSI has issued a statement in response to a paper reporting the trial results of two types of vaccine against the Zika virus in mice.

BSI Internatialism Report

A new report out today highlights the benefits that working with international partners brings to immunology in the UK.

The BSI has issued a statement in response to a paper published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences which reports that injecting mice with a heat-killed version of the bacteria Mycobacterium vaccae can reduce stress and inflammation in the animals, preventing them from developing post traumatic stress-like conditions.



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