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Research team

Inter-individual variations - host tolerance vs. increased risk

About this team

Team information

Host genetic factors have been found to play a major role in explaining inter-individual variation in susceptibility and tolerance to infectious diseases. This might explain why some individuals develop a severe, sometimes fatal, inflammatory response in reaction to infections, whereas others display tolerance and are only mildly affected by the same bacterial strain. A major goal of our research is to link genetic analysis to our findings on host-microbe interactions. The focus is set on polymorphisms of the NLRP3 inflammasome (Q705K in NLRP3 and C10X in CARD8). We and others have found these SNPs, per se or combined, implicated with increased risk and severity of chronic inflammation, and with increased presence in patients with bacteraemia, but also to have a host-protective role during certain infections. Our aim is to understand if and how genetic variations of the inflammasome play a role in why a bacterial infection develops into fatal or mild infections.