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Defense against infections

Last update 18-7-2009

On the defense against infections

The main components of the defense against infections A simplified model of the defense against infections A model for the innate defense

Living together with other (micro)organisms has been a fact of life since it began. As life proliferated the struggle for (co)existence began and soon included chemical warfare and predator - prey relations. In order to survive, defense mechanisms were mandatory. As the warfare escalated, more sophisticated defense mechanisms were needed, for example to refrain from attacking your self and your helpers.
Today this war rages on, in our gut, on our skin and if we are unlucky in other parts of our body. We understand parts of it in great detail, while other parts are far less well known. Understanding the way it all fits together is a worthwhile goal that is still far off.

Millions of people die of infections every year. According to WHO statistics about one third of the deaths is caused by infections. At the same time antibiotics are rapidly declining in effectiveness in treating infections.
Against this background this website shows an attempt to find new angles in prevention and treatment of antibiotics through scientific synthesis, an overview of all parts and their interrelations.
In order to do this how and why the defense mechanisms developed through the billions of years life exists is explored. Also how the defense mechanisms work and where the limitations are. The defense system is very complex and involved, including many cell types and many more chemicals.

As this web-site is intended for whoever reads it, the story is layered to hide complexity and add it in a controlled manner. So if you are a medical doctor or a biologist, please accept the simplifications are not intended for you. We keep working to also add the scientific information.

The story of defense against infections is told through multiple story lines as shown in the menu bar above this text. More story lines will be added as work progresses.

Help invited!

Telling the story of the defense against infections is a mammoth task. Please feel free to join in. You could do this by something as simple as dropping us a mail with a supportive statement, or letting us know we made a mistake or missed something. Or maybe you want to shoulder a more significant part of the work.
In any case please contact us.


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Assumption or speculation