UGent Lecture: 'The Role of Innate and Adaptive Immunity in the Pathogenesis and Resolution of CNS Infections'

Dr. Dorian McGavern (Viral Immunology and Intravital Imaging Section, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), NIH, USA) will present his recent work.

A multitude of infectious agents have the capacity to enter the central nervous system (CNS) and trigger an inflammatory response.  The outcome of these infections is dictated by the distribution of the pathogen, the innate immune gene expression program, and the composition of the CNS immune infiltrate.  One of the techniques we use to gain novel insights into the pathogenesis and resolution of CNS inflammation is referred to as two-photon microscopy (TPM).  This approach allows us to peer into the living brain and watch inflammatory disease processes unfold in real-time.  We have recently used TPM to study the inflammatory defense mounted against three different pathogens: lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus, vesicular stomatitis virus, and plasmodium berghei.  These pathogens induce meningitis, encephalitis, and cerebral malaria, respectively, which are all potentially fatal CNS conditions.  My lecture will focus on the immunopathological mechanisms underlying these infection-induced neurological disorders as well as therapeutic interventions that can be utilized to promote recovery and non-cytopathic pathogen clearance.