Seminar - The essential role of neutrophils during fungal infection
Seminar at Clinical Immunology and Clinical Microbiology, Department of Laboratory Medicine
"The essential role of neutrophils during fungal infection"
Our group “Antifungal Immunity" is interested in the fundamental processes during infections with pathogenic fungi. We combine studies on how the innate immune system restricts the spread of fungal pathogens and how these microbes in turn react to the host environment.
It is well established that neutrophils are crucial to control pathogenic fungi, as patients with acquired or inherited disorders of neutrophils often suffer from severe, life-threatening fungal infections. We want to understand how neutrophils contribute to defeat fungal pathogens. We have shown previously that NETs trap and kill fungi. However, the killing mechanism is not known. In a biochemical approach we have identified 24 different NET-associated proteins. We want to find out which NET proteins contribute to the antifungal activity during infections. This will furthermore enable us to identify the structures on the microbes which are targeted by these neutrophil proteins.
We are moreover interested in characterizing the response of C. albicans to neutrophils and other immune cells to identify the microbe's immune evasion strategies. This knowledge might help to find novel strategies to control fungal disease.
Recent projects involve mast-cells and the identification of novel antifungal drugs.