Fever is an area of research within the Brain Function Research Group in the School of Physiology. Our research focuses on the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying the control of fever and sickness behaviour, a suite of behaviours present in humans and animals accompanying infectious and inflammatory illness.
The Fever Laboratory has two main thrusts: pathophysiology of fever and sickness behaviour and immune activation, cognition and physical growth. The team’s research on the pathophysiology of fever and sickness behaviour focuses on investigating the role of cytokines and prostanoids as endogenous mediators of fever and sickness behaviours, in particular, anorexia and lethargy. The team’s research on immune activation, cognition and physical growth focuses on investigating the degree to which physical growth and cognition, specifically learning and memory is compromised by acute and recurrent acute infections during distinct periods of development, namely infancy, adolescence and adulthood. Given that the sex of an individual can have profound influences on the functioning of the developing nervous and immune system, we are also focusing on determining if sex differences exist with regard to the consequences of immune activation on cognitive functioning.
- The mechanisms involved in mediating the thermal response (fever) and the sickness behaviour responses (anorexia and lethargy) during infection and inflammation
- The effect of recurrent bacterial infections on memory, learning and growth in animals
- The mechanisms involved in mediating avian fever
Professor Duncan Mitchell
Professor Shane Maloney, University of Western Australia
For more information on the Fever Laboratory, Brain Function Research Group, contact Dr Lois Harden (Lois.Harden@wits.ac.za)