Universiteit Leiden

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Translational Immuno-Pharmacology

The Translational Immuno-Pharmacology group works on translating the efficacy of anti-infective therapy from preclinical (e.g. in vivo) to clinical, and is led by Rob van Wijk. Infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis, are in constant need of new therapies that work better, faster, and with less risk of resistance development. Host-directed therapy is a promising treatment option to target and engage the host’s immune system in the fight against the infection, in addition to antimicrobial therapy that target the pathogen.

Tuberculosis causes 1.5 million deaths yearly and anti-tuberculosis therapies are threatened by emergence of drug resistance. Development of innovative drug combinations should be accelerated with the use of translational pharmacological models. Moreover, host-directed therapies (HDT), which stimulate the immune system to clear the infection, are suggested as complementary strategy to antibiotics, to improve treatment outcomes and shorten treatment duration. Despite the potential of HDTs against tuberculosis, no clinically effective HDTs against tuberculosis are available due to translational challenges related to differences in the immunopharmacological effects of HDTs between preclinical species and patients.

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image: NICHD, Wikimedia Commons (CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0)

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