Manipulating the host response to treat infections

Recording of the live webinar broadcast on 14th January 2021:

Moderator: Neeloffer Mookherjee, University of Manitoba (Canada)

Manipulating the host response to treat infections

Immune modulation and host directed therapies as an adjunctive approach to treating infections ( (Bob) Hancock):
- Host defence peptides (HDP; often termed antimicrobial peptides) stimulate protective immunity while suppressing potentially harmful inflammation. Both of these activities can assist in anti-infective therapy.
- HDPs work as immune modulators in animal models against ESKAPE pathogen, MDR TB, fungal, malaria and viral infections, as well as sterile inflammation. They are likely to be employed in adjunctive therapy in combination with antibiotics.
- HDPs often have additional value-added activities including action against bacterial biofilms in animal models. This allows them to be utilized to address situations where antibiotics commonly fail.
- Alternative host-directed therapies can be defined for recalcitrant infections using stem cell mutagenesis and systems biology approaches.

Regulation and reprogramming of the innate immune system as alternative to antibiotics (Henk P. Haagsman):
- Host defence peptides (HDP) are immunomodulatory antimicrobials.
- Cathelicidin-derived peptides may serve as paradigms to develop anti-inflammatory anti-infectives.
- Cathelicidin-derived peptides may be used prophylactically as immunomodulators and adjuvants in veterinary medicine.
- Host-directed therapy may include innate immune training by epigenetic reprogramming.

The presentations were followed by a Q&A session.

- (Bob) Hancock, University of British Columbia (Canada)
- Henk P. Haagsman, Utrecht University (Netherlands)
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