Neuroglia in Infectious Brain Diseases

Neuroglia in Infectious Brain Diseases

Gwenn Skar, Jessica Snowden
ISBN: 9781615046768 | PDF ISBN: 9781615046775
Copyright © 2015 | 89 Pages | Publication Date: March 15, 2015

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In this book, we present a discussion of the immune functions of neuroglia and their interactions with common infectious diseases in the brain. While most is known about microglia and astrocytes, as are extensively reviewed here, our understanding of other glia, including oligodendrocytes and ependymal cells, continues to grow in terms of their response to infection. Our discussion focuses on the most clinically relevant and well-studied infectious diseases, including Streptococcus pneumoniae, Neisseria meningitidis, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), among others, in their interactions with microglia and astrocytes. These immune responses within the central nervous system are crucial for protecting us from pathogens and yet must be carefully balanced with the need to protect brain structures that are sensitive to inflammatory damage. The complex interactions between pathogens and glia, as well as glia with other cells in the central nervous system, are an area of fascinating research that continues to grow as we attempt to translate our understanding of these processes to new treatment and prevention strategies.

Table of Contents

Immune Privilege
Other Neuroglia: Oligodendrocytes, Schwann Cells, NG2 Cells, and Ependymal Cells
Bacterial Infection and Neuroglia
Viral Infection and Neuroglia
Other Organisms: Mycobacterial, Fungal, and Parasitic Infections
Author Biographies

About the Author(s)

Gwenn Skar, University of Nebraska Medical Center
Gwenn L. Skar, M.D. earned her bachelor's degree in Biological Systems Engineering from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2011. Afterwards she completed medical school and pediatric residency at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Dr. Skar has been interested in research since her undergraduate training and recently won the George Miyazaki Resident Research Award. She is currently a Pediatric Infectious Disease Fellow at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Her current research interests include global health initiatives as well as the microbiology and immunology of central nervous system catheter infections. Outside of medicine, Dr. Skar enjoys traveling, cooking and spending time with family and friends.

Jessica Snowden, University of Nebraska Medical Center
Jessica Snowden, M.D. is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and a Pediatric Infectious Disease specialist at the Children's Hospital of Omaha in Omaha, Nebraska. In addition to her clinical practice, Dr. Snowden's research focuses on the development and characterization of an animal model of central nervous system catheter infections, similar to the ventricular shunt infections that complicate the management of patients with hydrocephalus. She is interested in the immune response within the central nervous system to a biofilm-mediated foreign body infection, particularly the impact of immune maturity on that inflammatory response and subsequent pathology. She has been recognized as a member of the Society for Pediatric Research and is the author of numerous peer reviewed publications on clinical infectious disease and basic immunology research.

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