Aims and Scopes

Human basophils in chronic allergic asthma

Asthma is the most common chronic disease worldwide affecting more than 5% of the European population. Asthma is a heterogeneous disease whereby the clinical symptoms may underlie distinct immunopathologies. Because of its heterogeneity, asthma is classified according to phenotypes/endotypes. The most common asthma phenotype is eosinophilic asthma to which allergic asthma, characterised by T2-endotype, has tentatively allocated. Recent studies demonstrate that the frequency of basophils correlate with blood eosinophilia in eosinophilic asthma. However, the contribution of human basophils to the pathogenesis of asthma is less well defined

We focus our research activities on human primary blood basophils. We are mainly interested to evaluate whether and how human basophils perpetuate chronic allergic asthma. We suggest that insufficient negative feedback and/or constitutive activation enables basophils to trigger and maintain chronic allergic asthma. We study different factors and circumstances that have the potential to mount or dampen the immunoregularoy and effector functions of human basophils in chronic allergic inflammation. As secondary aim we investigate the role of human basophils beyond T2-type immune responses.

Improvement of Diagnosis of CVID:

Diagnosis of common variable immunodeficiency disorder (CVID) is currently supported by the determination of levels of IgG, IgM and IgA in patient’s sera, the detection of specific antibodies against bacterial antigens (after infection or vaccination), and immunophenotyping of B cell subpopulations by flow cytometry. However, besides the serological assays and the flowcytometric phenotyping of B cells, the European Society for Immunodeficiencies (ESID) recommends the analysis of T cell activity to diagnose CVID. A standardized assay to determine T cell activity is the least accessible and developed diagnostic test. In order to improve diagnosis of CVID we aim at developing a standardized assay to determine T cell activity.