Viruses . Mycobacteria . Persistent infection . Immunity . B cells . Vaccine . Alarmin

Experimental Virology

Immunity and pathogenesis in persistent microbial infection

Our research interests are centered around the interplay between persisting microbes, both viruses and bacteria, and their mammalian hosts. Emphasis rests on the host immune defense with special focus on B cell and antibody responses, vaccines and alarmins. In broad terms we investigate the following aspects thereof:

  • B cell defense in persistent viral infection
  • B cell responses in antimycobacterial immunity
  • Subversion of B cell responses in persistent microbial infection
  • Role of alarmins in T cell immunity
  • Virally vectored vaccines

Thereby, our research portfolio covers both adaptive and innate immune defense, with persistent microbial infection as a common theme. We combine cutting-edge mouse infection models, high-end cellular immunological techniques, genomics and a broad range of molecular analytics with molecular virological techniques (“reverse genetics”) for the engineering of infectious viruses. Although fundamental by character, the questions addressed have strong links to major unmet global health problems. In the mid- to long-term our research holds promise for clinical translational, notably in the context of vaccination and treatment of persistent microbial diseases such as in chronic viral hepatitis and tuberculosis.

Fig. 1: Electron micrograph of lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus particles budding from a host cell.