DECisions in Infectious DisEases
Collaborative Research Centre
The Collaborative Research Centre DECIDE (DECisions in Infectious DisEases) aims to identify molecular mechanisms within the host that control the course of infectious diseases. In particular, we analyze three key decisions, which determine the clinical outcome of human infections:
(1) the initial pathogen contact to established infection
(2) the transition to persistent infection
(3) the initiation of systemic spread
In DECIDE we focus on the critical processes that primarily determine the course & outcome (key decisions) of human infection.
Research Area A: From initiation to established infection
Projects in Research Area A focus on key decision I, whether the infection will be cleared or whether the infection process will continue. Molecular events that govern this step include, for example, an initial receptor–ligand interaction, which is required to establish contact between the pathogen and the host. In many cases key decisions are determined by traits of the affected individual, including age, microbiome composition, or pathological alterations and the ability to generate an adequate local immune response.
Research Area B: From active infection to persistence
Projects in Research Area B focus on the transition of a pathogen from an actively replicating to a non-replicating state (key decision II). Usually, the immediate threat to the host is averted and the infection is typically contained. However, persisting pathogens are often invisible to the immune system, survive for extended periods of time in their niche, and can be reactivated later. The latter is one of the major reasons for recurring acute infections. In addition, persisting, non-replicating microbes are frequently tolerant to antimicrobial therapy, a well-known and still unsolved problem.
Research Area C: From localised infection to pathogen spreading
Projects in Research Area C focus on decision points governing the key decision III in human infection that determines whether a pathogen is able to disseminate from a localised infection and spread to secondary sites. Pathogen spreading is frequently associated with a life-threatening course of disease, often resulting in sepsis and multi-organ failure. These events typically occur if the body’s defence lines are not able to contain the infection.
Prof. Dr. Thomas Rudel
Spokesperson CRC DECIDE
Chair of Microbiology
Biocenter of the University of Würzburg
Phone: +49 931-31-84400