In the News
Tonsil infections are a recurrent nightmare of pain for many children, who ultimately may require tonsillectomies. Others are scarcely bothered by them.
A study led by scientists from the La Jolla Institute for Immunology suggests a reason for this difference, and how these childhood infections might be one day be prevented.
The scientists examined tonsils removed at Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego. Some tonsils had previously been repeatedly infected with Group A Strep bacteria, a major reason for tonsillectomies. Other tonsils were removed because they obstructed breathing during sleep, but had not been repeatedly infected.
Tonsils that had been repeatedly infected showed evidence of reduced immune capacity, they found. And some infections were associated with a genetic difference.