Types and causes of Inclusion Bodies in Human Cells

In order to identify the types and causes of inclusion bodies in human cells, it’s first important to know what an inclusion body is. In simple terms, for these formations are anything but simple, inclusion bodies are abnormal structures that appear in cells. They’re typically associated with proteins, and are sure signs of the presence of a virus or, in some extreme cases, genetic diseases. They are foreign invaders, and unwelcome in any living body. Inclusion bodies are typically identified within a cell both by their appearance under a microscope and, by connection, the practice of staining.

How inclusion cells get into human cells varies from virus to virus and disease to disease, and in many cases it’s yet unknown – or concretely known, anyway – how a person can wind up with inclusion bodies in their cells, and thus suffer the resulting consequences. Inclusion body myositis (IBM), for example, affects a person’s musculature in bad ways – yet scientists are unsure exactly how it manifests in the human body, surmising only that it stems from a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Yet discovering the cause is crucial for treatment, as IBM can, over time, seriously impair the body’s muscles and eventually lead to the need for a wheelchair.

Inclusion bodies are as varied as the viruses and diseases they represent, and consequently come several forms. Those discovered thus far include the following:

– Russell Bodies: Named for physician William Russell, Russell Bodies are inclusion bodies found in plasma cells that have been hypothesized to be a bacterial cause of cancer, or at the very least an indicator of cancer.

– Negri Bodies: These inclusion bodies are typically found in nerve cells that have been infected by the rabies virus. Consequently, they probably stem from outside influences which deliver rabies in the first place. They are named for Adelchi Negri, their microbiologist discoverer.

– Guarnieri Bodies: Also known as B-type inclusions, Guarnieri Bodies are typically found in vaccinia (smallpox) sufferers. They’re named after Italian physician Giuseppe Guarnieri, and appear in the cytoplasm of epithelial cells.

– Cowdry Bodies: Appearing in two different forms – Type A and Type B – Cowdry Bodies are associated with herpes and the poliovirus, respectively.

This is just a small sample of some of the many inclusion bodies that may be located in the human body. For a more complete list, please see this posting on MedicalGeek.com.

It’s also worth noting that inclusion bodies are far from specific to humans. Many snakes, for example, suffer from a rather painful disease known as inclusion body disease, a retrovirus that affects pythons and boas specifically. Anything that can be touched by a virus or a disorder, which is to say every living organism that has cells, can sport inclusion bodies.

Inclusion bodies are not readily identified by the general public, and testing by amateurs should not be immediately taken as a sign of a particular illness. When in doubt, contact a medical professional regarding the potential presence of inclusion bodies in human cells.