Day 1 :
Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Germany
Time : 09:50-10:30
Carlos Alberto Guzman has graduated in Medicine and become board certified in Medical Bacteriology in Argentina. Later, he was graduated as a Doctor of Medicine and Surgery and obtained his Doctorate in Microbiological Sciences (University Genoa, Italy). In 1994, he became Head of the Vaccine Group (German Research Centre for Biotechnology, Germany). In 2005, he was appointed as the Head of the Department of Vaccinology and Applied Microbiology (HZI), becoming later APL-Professor at the Medical School and Member of the Centre for Individualized Infection Medicine (Hannover). His work was instrumental for developing new adjuvants and antigen delivery systems, leading to more than 200 publications.
Traditional vaccines consist of attenuated or inactivated pathogens, whereas subunit vaccines are based on purified antigens. Although it would be preferable to exploit noninvasive administration strategies, most vaccines still made use of needles. In this regard, mucosal vaccines and nanoparticle (NP)-based formulations delivered by transfollicular (TF) route are gaining interest. However, poor immunogenicity and transport across barriers limit these approaches. Adjuvantation might overcome these constraints, but only few adjuvants are available for human use and none is active by mucosal route. Our adjuvant development program led to the discovery of well-defined synthetic immune modulators, which are active when administered by mucosal route and improve the efficacy of NP-based formulations. Among them, cyclic-di-nucleotides (CDNs) exhibit strong immune modulatory effects on antigen presenting cells by activation of the type-I IFN and TNF pathways. Co-administration of CDNs with purified antigens induces strong humoral and cellular responses, which were characterized by a balanced Th1/Th2 profile and induction of cytotoxic cells. Influenza vaccines adjuvanted with CDNs confer protection against virus challenge in different preclinical models, including aged mice. Co-administration or formulation with antigen loaded NPs also allowed triggering antigen specific humoral and cytotoxic responses after TF vaccination, even with a completely intact skin barrier. This new generation of synthetic adjuvants with well defined molecular targets represents a powerful tool for the rational design of novel vaccines and immune therapies.
University of Cambridge, UK
Keynote: Immunity, vaccination, antimicrobial treatment and in vivo pathogen behavior: From the laboratory to clinical setting in endemic regions
Time : 10:45-11:25
Pietro Mastroeni has received degree in Medicine and Surgery from the University of Messina, Italy. He has then moved to the University of Cambridge, UK and completed his PhD before becoming a Research Fellow at Imperial College, University of London UK. He is currently a Reader in Infection and Immunity at the University of Cambridge. He has published more than 100 papers in reputed journals and serves as an Editorial Board Member.
Accurate targeting of appropriate vaccination and therapeutic strategies must take into consideration the behavior of pathogens within the host. Animal models have provided many insights into those host-pathogen relationships that control bacterial infections. New approaches based on advanced microscopy, individually-traceable molecularly tagged bacterial populations and mathematical modeling have exploited the robust and tractable Salmonella enterica murine infection model to capture the many variables that underpin the location, spread, division, death and persistence of microorganisms within an animal. Immunological or genetic manipulations of B and T-cell mediated immunity, signaling pathways, cytokine networks and phagocyte effector functions modulate host resistance/susceptibility and have provided solid information on which immunological effectors control and eliminate disease. These models have also enabled us to test different classes of vaccines and antibiotics and determine which ones are likely to induce the highest level of protection in other animal species and in humans. The higher incidence of some invasive bacterial infections in patients with genetic immunodeficiencies, individuals carrying specific immune gene alleles and patients with comorbidities (e.g., malaria, severe anemia, HIV), indicates common resistance/susceptibility traits between mice and humans. The presence of comorbidities in endemic areas poses serious challenges to disease prevention by undermining those elements of the innate immune response that are the foundations upon which vaccines build resistance. There are currently large gaps in our knowledge of the mechanisms that control many bacterial infections in humans and we still do not fully understand of how comorbidities, alone or in combination, impair immunity. A major challenge ahead is to link risk factors/comorbidities with specific immunological/functional defects that determine increased susceptibility to infections in endemic areas. This will provide a rational pathway to develop approaches and tools to restore such defects in individuals with high risk of contracting disease and will inform development and rational use of vaccines and antimicrobial treatments.
Tulane University, USA
Time : 11:25-12:05