The defence against infection is a central function of our immune system. This leads to a complex interplay between infectious pathogens and their products on the one hand and the resulting reactions of the immune system on the other. The respective host-pathogen interaction determines the outcome of the infection, which ranges from sterile immunity, the establishment of a chronic infection to the death of the infected person. Especially in the age of increasing antibiotic resistance, it is of great importance to elucidate mechanisms of antimicrobial immunity as well as immune evasion mechanisms. In addition to immunomodulatory therapeutic strategies, this knowledge can provide new host-directed therapeutic approaches that lead to a strengthening of the immune system and a successful defence against infection.
The aim of the group is to promote the discussion and collaboration of those groups interested in the molecular structure, organization and interaction of the individual components of the immune system and their influence on infections. In addition to anthroponoses, the group is also intensively involved in zoonoses, which represent a large proportion of newly emerging infectious diseases. The group offers a platform for infection immunologists working on different aspects of the immune response (e.g. innate vs. acquired immunity) against different infectious agents (bacteria, parasites, fungi, viruses) in preclinical and clinical studies.
The Study Group Infection Immunology is the only group that is both part of the German Society of Immunology (DGfI) and the German Society for Hygiene and Microbiology (DGHM). It thus represents an important link between the two professional societies.
Currently, the group consists of about 200 members. Our most important activity is the annual workshop (minisymposium “Infection and Immune Defence”) at Burg Rothenfels in spring with up to 100 participants. Beside overview lectures from members of infection immunology labs and two “keynote lectures” on current topics the main part of the conference consists of short talk selected from abstracts. The “Roche Prize for Infection Immunology” will be awarded for the best short talk.