Professor Barry Marshall – helicobacter pylori and allergy season

Professor Barry Marshall – helicobacter pylori and allergy season

Often the weather forecasters and the
allergy people will be able to predict that it’s going to be a bad hay fever
season, and that would depend on the kind of winter that we’ve had. And so if
all the flowering plants and grasses start flowering at the same time then
you’re going to get a big pulse of hay fever and a successful year for the
plants, I suppose. If you get a super hyperactive immune system you could have an immune disease where you’re reacting against your own body, or you could have
allergies which is the thing that we are interested in. So you might have asthma
and eczema, or hay fever, you might be allergic to any number of things – food
products, for example. So we think that Helicobacter might having the ability to
downregulate the immune system – that’s why you can’t get rid of it. But the good part is you don’t have to use live Helicobacter to do this and so I have a
biotech company called Ondek, and what we are doing is getting extracted parts
of Helicobacter killing the Helicobacter in such a way that your immune system
still thinks it’s alive, but when we give the killed Helicobacter products to you
your immune system will go quiet. This sort of thing is becoming more common in the modern world. We don’t get exposed to all these worms and bacteria and dirty
food and things like that anymore, and our immune systems tend to be a bit
overactive and so allergies are becoming more and more common.

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