Latest Issue of Science News


News

Diesel fumes suppress immune response

Recurring exposure to soot particles from diesel exhaust reduces the immune system's capacity to fend off infection more persistently than does a one-time exposure to an equivalent amount of particles, tests on rodents indicate.

Inhaling particles less than 2.5 micrometers across is harmful to the heart and lungs. A past study showed that breathing air filled with such emissions for 4 hours temporarily suppressed rats' immune defenses against the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes. Within a week after being deliberately infected with the bacterium, however, the soot-exposed rats cleared the infection as effectively as did animals that hadn't breathed diesel fumes.

Note: To comment, Science News subscribing members must now establish a separate login relationship with Disqus. Click the Disqus icon below, enter your e-mail and click “forgot password” to reset your password. You may also log into Disqus using Facebook, Twitter or Google.

X
This article is available only to subscribing members. Join SSP today or Log in.