The study, published in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology, found that increased sensitivity to infection related to chronic alcohol consumption is due to defective host defense responses, and treatment with a molecule called Interleukin-17 (IL-17) prevent this in mice."The clinical association between alcoholism and severe skin infection is well established," said one of the researchers Corey Parlet from the University of Iowa.

"The ability to experimentally model skin immune deficiencies that occur in chronic alcoholics opens up new avenues to test immune-based therapies to better protect this population and thereby limit the spread of infectious disease to the broader community as well," Parlet added.To make their discovery, scientists administered either drinking water consisting of a 20 percent ethanol/water solution or plain water.After 12 weeks on this fluid regimen, with a regular solid food diet, infection outcomes and host defence responses were assessed in mice that were given a skin infection with the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus.

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