Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

In 2017 we celebrated five years of bringing you beautiful imagery from biomedical science

Feverishly Good
30 November 2014

Feverishly Good

The cryptically named Q fever, a bacterial infection (shown in yellow bursting through a cell membrane) that afflicts sufferers with bouts of high temperature and flu-like symptoms, didn't spring out of a stealthy government department. It was diagnosed in 1933 in Australian abattoir workers in Queensland, and was first nicknamed 'abattoir fever', then Queensland fever, before being renamed Q – for query – fever to avoid offending the meat industry or Queensland. Though antibiotics today treat Q fever effectively, most sufferers also tend to reach for fever-quenching pills at the slightest sign of fever. But research shows that the fever is beneficial. Our immune system helpfully raises our body temperature by releasing chemicals in blood vessels in the brain to hamper bacteria and promote the growth of white blood cells and interferon proteins that attack intruders.

Written by Tristan Farrow

Search The Archive

Submit An Image

What is BPoD?

BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences the website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biomedicine. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.

Read More