Innate immune training: it’s potential as a therapeutic target to combat infectious diseases

Friday 17 February 2023, 10:30 am
S.J.C.F.M. Moorlag MSc.
prof. dr. M.G. Netea, prof. dr. L.A.B. Joosten

Infectious diseases can have a significant impact on our health. Our immune system uses various mechanisms to prevent infections. One important strategy is based on remembering previously encountered pathogens. It was believed that only cells of the adaptive immune system could build these memory responses. However, it was recently shown that the innate immune system can be ‘trained’, resulting in enhanced immune responses against secondary infections. This process is a form of memory and was termed ‘trained immunity’. This thesis shows that the induction of trained immunity provides protection against certain infections in humans. Considerable variation exists in the magnitude of trained immunity responses and this thesis reveals underlying factors and mechanisms involved. These findings contribute to the development of novel therapeutics and strategies to prevent infections and/or decrease infectious disease severity.

Simone Moorlag (1987) obtained her Master’s degree in Biomolecular Sciences, cum laude, at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, and obtained her medical degree at Utrecht University. Thereafter, she worked as a clinical resident not in training at the department of Internal Medicine. In 2016 she started with her PhD research at the laboratory of Experimental Internal Medicine of the Radboudumc. Currently, she is a clinical resident in Medical Microbiology at the Radboudumc.