Imperial scientists investigate childhood bacterial infections
4 April 2012
Imperial researchers will study the genetic factors that influence children’s susceptibility to bacterial infections in a €12 million research collaboration announced on 9 March.
Despite the availability of vaccines and antimicrobial drugs, large numbers of children continue to be affected by bacterial infections, both in developed countries and the developing world. They account for more than a quarter of child deaths globally.
As well as looking for genetic differences that affect susceptibility to disease and how severe the illness is, the project aims to understand how the genes identified affect disease processes, using cell biology and functional genomics studies.
“This is a truly interdisciplinary project that will go beyond state-of-the-art genetics to tell us about the biological mechanisms underlying how genetic factors influence disease,” said Professor Mike Levin (Medicine), who is coordinating the project.
“We hope to identify new therapeutic targets which would possibly allow treatments to be matched to individuals based on their predicted immune response.”
The new project, called EUCLIDS, is funded by the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for Research (FP7), and will involve 14 partner institutions in six countries, with a budget of €12 million over five years.
— Sam Wong, Communications and Development