Wednesday, 16 January 2019 06:03

Flinders team claims breakthrough in Lupus research

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Flinders University immunology chief Professor Tom Gordon. Flinders University immunology chief Professor Tom Gordon. Supplied

Researchers at Flinders University claim a breakthrough in finding the structure of "rogue clones" that cause the auto-immune disease Lupus and say it could help lead to effective treatments.

A statement from the university said a person suffering from Lupus was unable to ward off infections as his/her immune system could not distinguish between foreign bodies and their own healthy tissues.

An auto-immune attack results, causing fatigue, joint pain, skin rashes and damage to kidneys, lungs, the brain and blood vessels.

The university's head of immunology, Professor Tom Gordon,said identifying and tracking down the molecular signature of "rogue clones" could mean earlier diagnosis and better treatments.

“With our new finding, we have advanced from measuring just the level of auto-antibody to breaking down their precise components," he said.

"Identifying and isolating the signature of these rogue clones can provide information about whether a drug therapy is working or not.”

The joint author of the research, Dr Jing Jing Wang, said a mass spectrometry instrument was used to identify the molecular signatures of antibodies which cause the disease.

“The ultimate goal of our work is to measure response to treatment and to design therapies to remove rogue clones in individual Lupus patients.”

Prof Gordon said up to 20,000 Australians suffered from Lupus.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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