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Content archived on 2024-05-27

Control of lung infection, allergy and inflammation: assessment of the therapeutic potential of recombinant forms of lung surfactant proteins sp-a and sp-d.


Antibiotics are routinely used in the treatment of lung microbial infections and there is concern about the increasing number of lung pathogens which show antibiotic-resistance. Lung surfactant proteins A and D (SP-A and SP-D) are part of the naturally occurring innate immune system which provides an immediate defence against a wide range of lung pathogens (viruses, bacteria and fungi) and also have an anti-inflammatory forms of allergic reactions. Levels of SP-A -and SP-D fall during certain infections. thus the use of recombinant forms of these proteins may alleviate the need for administration of antibiotics, especially in the very young, ventilated patients and immunocompromised adults (such as AIDS patients). Recombinant forms of SP-A and SP-D will be directly tested as therapeutic agents and also after their addition to lung surfactant preparations which are in clinical use/or trials (which at present lack SP-A and SP-D). The recombinant forms of SP-A and SP-D will be fully characterised and their biological properties assessed by in vitro assays and in animal models of lung infection and inflammation. This will allow the formulation of the optimal recombinant forms of SP-A and SP-D for use in human clinical trials.

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Medical Research Council (MRC)
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20 Park Crescent
W1N 4AL London
United Kingdom

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