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8751Re: [GIWorld-Hepatitis] Reactivation of Hepatitis B

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  • Gail Samples
    Feb 1, 2002
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      >From: "Patricia Jean" <patriciajean@...>

      > If interferon helps our immune system, why do I get more infections when
      > taking interferon?
      Think of it as being similar to a country that has grown too large to
      protect its borders. The inteferon that we use for HCV does stimulate our
      immune system-against viral invaders. So while the body is busy with the
      viral invaders, other invaders, bacterial, fungal, parasitic, etc. have a
      better chance of getting by the immune system. Like a country under attack
      by sea, then by air, then from a land border, then another land border, etc.
      The country still has to defend itself on all sides. We are much like this
      scenario-constantly being bombarded by microbial invaders, with our skin and
      mucous systems providing a very decent first ine of defense. But if
      something does make it past those first lines, and the body is not already
      busy fighting some other infection, it can quickly attend to the invader.
      If it is already busy elsewhere, then the response can be slower or weaker,
      causing an illness or infeciton. This is why some infections are called
      'opportunistic' infections. They are already there, but kept under control
      by the immune system. When the system gets weakened (or too busy elsewhere)
      by a fight with some other microbial invader, the other laid back infection,
      like herpes cold sores (the little bastards), comes alive.

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