Stem cell/bone marrow transplantation (SCT/BMT) is an important curative therapy for haematological malignancies and disorders; however graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) and infection are two major complications of this procedure. Whilst it is well established that viral and bacterial infections influence GVHD pathogenesis, the impact of fungal infection after transplant is poorly understood. In non-transplant settings, adaptive immune responses to fungal infections are commonly associated with IL-17 production by T cells that enhance anti-fungal immunity. However our laboratory and others have demonstrated that the IL-17 differentiation pathway is pathogenic in the context of allotransplantation. We are offering a project designed to understand the relationship between fungal infection and GVHD outcomes.
This project will 1) establish an in vivo infection model that can be used in conjunction with bone marrow transplant in pre-clinical experimental system, and 2) explore the relationship between fungal infection, T cell polarisation and GVHD.
Once established, this model will be the first of its kind and will be an important tool to examine the influence of infection on inflammatory disease pathology.
- This project would suit a PhD student.