Sciensano & Immune system

Last updated on 19-2-2019 by Aurélie Felice

Sciensano studies the functioning of the immune system to better understand the protective mechanisms against infectious diseases. As such, we take particular interest in the mechanisms that induce effective vaccinations against infectious diseases. Our research specifically targets lung diseases, such as whooping cough, tuberculosis and allergies.

Investigate host-pathogen interactions

Sciensano works to better understand the mechanisms implemented by the immune system to protect the body from infections by the bacillus of tuberculosis, pertussis and rabies virus. By studying host-pathogen interactions (that is, the interactions between the immune system and the infectious agent), we are helping to improve diagnostic methods for certain communicable and infectious diseases in humans. This understanding is also crucial for the development of more effective vaccines against these pathogens. 

To analyze the mechanisms underlying the development of allergic responses

Sciensano analyzes the mechanisms underlying the development of allergic responses, particularly those caused by molds. Molds are potent allergens and asthma inducers, which in some cases can take a very severe form with strong lung inflammation. Our work aims to define the first stages leading to the activation of allergic responses and to better understand the relationship between allergic diseases and the environment.

Serological diagnosis for Pertussis and Listeriosis

Sciensano performs serological diagnosis based on research, in serum (a blood component), antibodies produced by the immune system. These diagnoses are made for whooping cough and listeriosis. 

Improve methods of immunological surveillance

Our research also aims to improve methods of immunological surveillance, that is, the change in the percentage of a population vaccinated against a disease. We are helping to strengthen the control of some vaccine-preventable communicable and infectious diseases, such as whooping cough or diphtheria.

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