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Florian kern immunol_istock_web
Brighton & Sussex Medical School



A diverse group of researchers at BSMS are working on infection, trying to understand the roles that immunological, genetic, pathogenic or environmental factors play in disease.

Research here focuses on two key areas with specific applications in our hospitals and in developing countries: firstly, how our immune systems fight infectious diseases such as the bacterial causes of sepsis, hospital-acquired infections, sexually transmitted diseases, viral hepatitis and tuberculosis.This research, dissecting the interactions between host and pathogen, is complemented by our expertise in non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and podoconiosis with centres in the UK and sub-Saharan Africa.

The second major theme within infection and immunity is autoimmune and inflammatory diseases caused by the exaggerated activation of our immune defences, including multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, eczema and allergy.

By combining these research themes with studies aimed at explaining the spread of disease, we hope to gain a greater understanding of the biological mechanisms that underlie infection and inflammation. This knowledge – alongside our expertise in measuring health outcomes, disease epidemiology and behavioural interventions in different healthcare settings – will help us to improve human health worldwide.

The immune system and infections in older life

This theme focuses on changes in immunity in older people, in particular anti-infectious immunity.

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