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IgEPath - Contributions of IgE-antibodies and IgE effector cells to host defense against pathogenic bacteria

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - IgEPath (IgEPath - Contributions of IgE-antibodies and IgE effector cells to host defense against pathogenic bacteria)

Reporting period: 2015-08-03 to 2017-08-02

Allergic individuals have developed an immune response against apparently harmless environmental proteins (known as allergens). Subsequent contact with the allergen activates mast cells and these immune cells immediately respond with rapid release of compounds that cause allergic symptoms and, in extreme cases, anaphylaxis. It is unclear whether there is a beneficial function of such allergic reactions. Recent research showed that immune responses similar to allergies can protect mice against bee and snake venoms. Such results provide evidence that allergic reactions represent an important component of the host defense against noxious substances, such as toxins and venoms.
Immune responses that resemble allergies are also developed during infections with certain toxin-producing bacteria. Such bacteria represent a major health threat as infections with certain species cannot be effectively treated and vaccines are not available.
The main objective of this study is to decipher the roles of allergic immune responses in host defense against pathogenic bacteria.
Throughout the project, we established all the experimental models in order to investigate the question. Using these tools, we found that the immune response against a pathogenic bacterium induces the development of an allergic immune response. The antibodies developed during this immune response had the potential to prime effector cells and increase the potential of these cells to kill the bacteria.
Our project so far showed that the immune response against the bacterial pathogens indeed resembles an allergy. The immune response can increase immune protection against the bacteria. We will further elucidate the exact mechanisms underlying this protective immune response in future work. Ideally, the results will be the basis for new vaccination and therapeutic approaches against toxin producing, pathogenic bacteria.
Pollen allergy