The function of the antibody called immunoglobulin D has puzzled immunologists for years. A study in Nature Immunology reports that immunoglobulin D helps combat upper respiratory infections.
Andrea Cerutti and colleagues show antibody-producing cells located in tonsils and upper airway tissues release immunoglobulin D (IgD). IgD then recognizes bacteria and other disease-causing microbes. IgD-bound bacteria trigger immune cells known as basophils to release fever-inducing agents and a variety of antimicrobial substances to rid the infectious agent.
This work therefore places IgD antibodies as a foot soldier in the immune arsenal against respiratory infections.