Forschungszentrum Borstel
Forschungszentrum Borstel

Science

Priority Research Area Infections

Christoph  Hölscher

Dr. Christoph Hölscher

04537 - 188 - 5860
04537 - 188 - 7750

Mission

Figure 1. Protective and damaging, centrally necrotizing granuloma
Figure 1. Protective and damaging, centrally necrotizing granuloma

Granuloma formation is a hallmark of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) infection and represents the histological correlate of inflammatory tissue responses generally associated with protective immunity. In most cases the immune system of the host is capable to control the pathogen in these protective lung granulomas. However, in some infected individuals the disease tuberculosis (TB) develops when a formerly protective granuloma loses the capability to keep mycobacterial replication in check. It increases in size and transforms in a damaging granuloma that eventually necrotizes. The Infection Immunology research group wants to understand the cytokine-mediated regulation of (i) protection and (ii) pathology within these two types of TB-associated granulomas (Fig. 1) in order to dissect protective and pathology-promoting mechanisms to develop adjuvant vaccination and therapy strategies. In this respect, (iii) novel antibiotics and host directed therapeutics should be evaluated in optimized experimental models to improve anti TB therapy and/or vaccination.