Diseases caused by pathogenic micro-organisms
Research is also being conducted into other viruses, for example HBV (hepatitis B), HCV (hepatitis C), CMV (herpes), H1N1 (new influenza A) and H5N1 (‘bird flu’). The research into bacteria concentrates on those that are associated with major diseases like pneumonia, meningitis and sepsis.
AMC is involved in research into such autoimmune diseases as psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, inflammatory bowel disease, allergic asthma and food allergies. Thanks to the use of immunosuppressants, the indications for organ transplants are becoming wider in scope. AMC is looking for ways to improve the long-term survival rate (ten years and more) of donor organs. In haematology, important research topics are B-cell cancers – in particular B-CLL (B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukaemia), non-Hodgkin lymphoma and multiple myeloma – and the evaluation of new treatments.
Immune responses begin with the activation of the non-specific immune system. In this field, AMC has an especially strong tradition of research into phagocytes. As far as the specific immune response is concerned, focal areas of research include the influence of dendritic cells and the early development of lymphocytes. One important tool in this work is the ‘HIS mouse’ – a laboratory rodent that has a human immune system.