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This Institute brings together research teams working on immunology, inflammation, infectiology and microbiology. Its challenges are both cognitive and medical. The purpose is to develop multidisciplinary research combining the clinical approach, microbiology, genomics, molecular and human epidemiology, entomology, mathematics and sociology across a broad range of diseases affecting both animals and humans that can interact in complex ways with ecosystems and social and medical practices

Issues and challenges in Infectious diseases and microbiology

Endothelial cells infected by meningococcus (in blue) - © Inserm, E. Emmanuel

Endothelial cells infected by meningococcus (in blue)

Infectious and parasitic diseases are the second most common cause of mortality worldwide (approximately 26% of overall mortality, i.e. 17 million deaths a year). They also affect countries unevenly, depending on their geographic location and level of development.

French research on infectious and parasitic diseases currently faces several challenges:

  • The emergence of infectious diseases,
  • Antibiotic resistance,
  • Studying the association between infections and chronic non-communicable diseases,
  • Chronic viral infections,
  • Anticipating and preparing for the next public health crises.

Issues and challenges in Immunology and Inflammation

Immunology is undeniably a pivotal part of medicine, and a source of prophylactic solutions (vaccines) and therapeutic agents in many medical disciplines. Although the growing body of knowledge allows a better understanding of the development and maintenance of the body’s defence mechanisms, it has been observed that any malfunction/dysregulation, disruption in homeostasis or abnormality is a source of inflammatory, allergic, or autoimmune disease, or disease associated with impaired tolerance or deficiencies in the immune defences. Whether acute or chronic, these diseases have a significant impact on public health, and because their incidence is constantly rising, they constitute a major challenge to health. Moreover, support for the development of basic research is essential, particularly in the following areas:

  • Innate and adaptive immunity,
  • Microbiotas (homeostasis–dysfunction, and impact on the major functions of the body),
  • The development of effective vaccines for new infectious agents, or adapted to the needs of new populations, and their acceptability,
  • Immunotherapies, including next generation antibodies, biotherapies and grafting/transplantation,
  • Allergic and inflammatory diseases, in order to gain a better understanding of the mechanisms leading to dysregulation of homeostasis (development of new models, role of microorganisms, role of sterile inflammation, cellular and molecular mechanisms, and genetic and environmental factors involved in the occurrence and prevalence of these conditions.

Laboratory P4 - Jean Mérieux, in Lyons, a research center on viruses

Laboratory P4 - Jean Mérieux, in Lyons, a research center on viruses

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