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Chapter 16 : Immune Legions Battling Infection
Humankind has suffered many afflictions-some from the plagues of invisible microbes, some from natural disasters, and some from man's inhumanity to man. The author and his research colleagues used Legionella pneumophila as a model system and studied immune responses of mice to this infectious organism. They developed a susceptible versus resistant mouse model to study Legionella and investigated the role of B cells, T cells, and macrophages, as well as cytokine responses to infection by this bacteria. In addition to studying the immune response to Legionella, they soon began to examine the effect of marijuana on the immune response system. These studies originated with the recognition that drug abusers were especially prone to HIV infection and the development of AIDS. It is obvious that further investigation of the host-parasite relationship as it relates to immune responses against microorganisms will result in what was thought to be an unattainable understanding of how the human species can survive in the "sea of microbes" that can use humans as their hosts.