Surgery, tumour treatment and intensive care medicine improve life expectancies of many patients. However, these measures and therapies come at a price: they weaken the immune system and increase susceptibility even to “harmless” pathogens. Infections in patients with compromised immune systems are playing an ever increasing role in the day-to-day life of hospitals and are often difficult to treat with conventional antibiotics.
It is currently almost impossible to estimate the precise factors which weaken a specific patient’s immune system. DZIF scientists in the research field “Infections of the immunocompromised host” research appropriate biomarkers for estimating such risks and develop vaccines and immunotherapies to strengthen the immune system and protect immunocompromised patients from infection.