A type of fungus called Aspergillus, a common mold which is found in soil and compost heaps, is transported in the air as microscopic spores. Most people breathe in Aspergillus spores every day without falling ill, however those with impaired immune systems are more at risk.
Aspergillus can cause a variety of diseases, depending on the underlying disease of the person suffering from Aspergillus infection. Our research is particularly interested in Aspergillus infection in children with underlying disorders making them at-risk to develop Aspergillus disease. We want to understand what goes wrong in a specific patient population to find new and better ways of treatment. We have learned over the last decade that ‘one size doesn’t fit all’ and ‘personalized medicine’ is the way forward if we want to improve the outcome of those infections.
We are now performing experiments to assess if anti-inflammatory drugs (instead of antifungal drugs), could be a good option to ‘dampen down’ Aspergillus disease specifically in people with Cystic Fibrosis. On the other hand, in children whose immune systems are almost completely knocked out, for example in children receiving bone marrow transplantations, when Aspergillus infects their lungs, antifungal drugs are crucial, as they have very few immune cells and so are at high risk for Aspergillus infections.
Use your mouse to shoot the spores and accumulate points. Careful, you can get negative points for each spore that passes you by.
(The game will not show on mobile devices and is best played on desktop computers.)
Adilia Warris (text)