Research: Invasive Aspergillosis
Aspergillus fumigatus is an ubiquitous air-borne mould whose spores are frequently inhaled. Humans with impaired immunity, e.g. those with haematological malignancies or bone marrow transplant recipients, are at a substantially elevated risk of severe, invasive A. fumigatus infection known as invasive aspergillosis (IA). IA is a rare disease in Europe but in the absence of timely and effective treatment it causes high rates of morbidity and mortality, with fatalities approaching 80% in certain patient groups. One of our research interests is to characterize the dynamics of immune cell behavior in vivo during such an infection. By investigating the immune response towards IA we gain important basic knowledge on the phagocytic network of the lung and gather insights into the course of infection, which will help develop new diagnostic tools for the non-invasive detection of this life-threatening mycosis and provide novel therapeutic opportunities which have the power to replace existing systemic antifungal drugs with their severe adverse effects. Under this directive, we are planning to conduct a clinical study based on the findings made within the MATHIAS consortium.