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Novel therapeutic and prophylactic strategies to control mucosal infections by South American bacterial strains
EC contribution
: € 1.699.908
: 36 months
Starting date
: 01/10/2006
Funding scheme
: Specific Targeted Research Project
: innate immunity, mucosal adjuvant, virulence factors, screening processes
Contract/Grant agreement number
: INCO-CT-2006-032266
Project web-site
: -


Enteric and respiratory diseases remain a major cause of mortality during neonate life and childhood within developing countries. The SavinMucoPath project is focusing on bacteria that enter through or colonise enteric and respiratory mucosa, i.e. Streptococcus pneumoniae, Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis, and Bordetella pertussis. The selected bacterial pathogens are associated with important rates of morbidity and mortality in South America, especially in young children and those in the low socioeconomic bracket. Moreover, the strains and serotypes that cause infections are unique to the developing countries in this area and consequently, basic research and development of therapies and vaccines tailored to these local strains have been deserted by the European and North American scientific communities. The objectives of our concerted efforts are to gain in our understanding of the host-pathogen interaction in order to define novel strategies of interventions. For this purpose, we will study on the one hand, virulence mechanisms of bacterial pathogens and on the other hand, the early innate immune response of the host. This will allow to identify molecules from these bacteria that (1) can be targeted by novel antibiotics (strain-specific virulence factors) and (2) activate specifically protective mucosal innate immunity (conserved pathogen-associated molecular patterns, PAMP) in order to block the infections at the port of entry of bacteria.

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