The heat is on; cooling down the response to Aspergillus

My research is focused on infections caused by Aspergillus, which is present in the environment all around us. We each inhale hundreds of fungal spores every single day, and for the majority of people this doesn't cause any problems, but for people whose immune system isn't working properly Aspergillus can cause serious, even life threatening, infections.

One group of patients who are at particular risk of Aspergillus infection are people with a rare inherited immune deficiency called chronic granulomatous disease, or CGD.

For these patients infection with Aspergillus is frequently fatal, even with appropriate anti-fungal treatment.

My research so far suggests that rather than not mounting a sufficient immune response, the CGD immune system actually over-reacts to Aspergillus, causing significant tissue damage but without clearing the fungal infection.

We're therefore looking at whether we can use new treatments aimed at reducing inflammation alongside conventional anti-fungal drugs to improve the outcome of these devastating infections for CGD patients.

Dr Jill King works in Professor Adilia Warris's lab at the University of Aberdeen