Institute for Lung Health

Pathogenesis and management of lung infections


We work closely with members of the microbial pathogenesis group. If the infection element is relevant to the host then it comes within the remit of respiratory sciences whereas if it concerns primarily the pathogen then it is part of microbial pathogenesis.


A productive collaboration between the mast cell and pneumococcus groups has shown that human lung mast cells mediate pneumococcal cell death in response to activation by pneumolysin in a mouse model of pneumococcal pneumonia.

Human lung mast cells mediate pneumococcal cell death in response to activation by pneumolysin. Cruse G, Fernandes VE, de Salort J, Pankhania D, Marinas MS, Brewin H, Andrew PW, Bradding P, Kadioglu A.J Immunol. 2010;184:7108-7115.

There is a strong complement group in Leicester and their work is of particular relevance to lung infections. They have recently investigated the structure function relationships in mannose binding protein lectins including engineering MASP binding into the pulmonary surfactant SP-A.

Engineering novel complement activity into a pulmonary surfactant protein. Venkatraman Girija U, Furze C, Toth J, Schwaeble WJ, Mitchell DA, Keeble AH, Wallis R. J Biol Chem. 2010;285:10546-10552.

In Nicholson and Stephenson we have two leaders in the field of vaccine development for flu. They undertook a single centre study of a vaccine against H1N1 influenza and demonstrated that the MF59 adjuvanted vaccine gave protection after one injection.

Trial of 2009 influenza A (H1N1) monovalent MF59-adjuvanted vaccine. Clark TW, Pareek M, Hoschler K, Dillon H, Nicholson KG, Groth N, Stephenson I. N Engl J Med. 2009;361:2424-2435. (IF 47.05)

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