Research Project: Developing Antibodies to Treat Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis
Aspergillus is a common fungus that poses a significant threat to lung health. In its most aggressive form it causes a rapidly progressing pneumonia-like disease known as invasive pulmonary Aspergillosis (IPA) that is often fatal. IPA threatens individuals with weakened immune systems, pre-existing lung disease, and severe viral pneumonias including influenza and COVID-19. Current treatment options rely heavily on a limited number of antibiotics that are often hindered by drug interactions, adverse reactions and fungal resistance. Even with intensive care, treatment success remains low. Based on a novel Aspergillus vaccine candidate, we will develop therapeutic antibodies to treat IPA in a model system and explore the mechanisms by which these antibodies protect against disease. This work will discover new therapies that can work in concert with pre-existing drug regiments to protect against IPA and other Aspergillus-associated lung diseases.