Aging is associated with both a decline in the function of an organism and a greater risk for contracting infectious diseases. Many countries are now facing increased elderly populations and high prevalences of fatal age-related infectious pulmonary diseases, such as COPD and bacterial and fungal pneumonia, and non-respiratory infections such as periodontitis.
There are three main reasons why existing antibiotics are ineffective in treating age-related infections:
- Age-related immunosuppression
- Development of drug resistance
- The formation of bacterial biofilms, which are only affected by concentrations of antibiotics that can not be reached at the site of infection
- Mixed infections
IHM specialists are focused on isolating and studying previously unknown causative agents of age-related infectious diseases and developing novel ways to control these organisms.
PRIMARY DIRECTIONS OF THE RESEARCH
Novel Pathogens Search
The IHM applies innovative approaches at the forefront of technology to identify and isolate novel causative agents of age-related infectious diseases, as each newly identified pathogen comprises a significant step towards being able to prevent and/or enhance the efficacy of treatments for age-related infectious pathologies.
Novel Therapeutic Directions
Through our interdisciplinary studies, we anticipate being able to translate our research findings into potential therapeutic drugs for age-related respiratory tract infections, such as COPD and fungal pneumonia, and other non-respiratory pathologies, including periodontitis. Our ultimate goal is to make these therapies available to the entire human community and thereby effectively increase the human lifespan.
We try to make our data available to the whole scientific community. The HMI welcomes collaborative studies to unravel the pathogenesis of human diseases associated with the microbiota. However, we ask that you respect the rights of first publication and cite our work as follows: