Defending against lung infections
Lung infections kill more Canadians than all other infections and cost the economy billions of dollars every year.
Lung immunity—the lung’s capacity to resist infection—is a complex biological process, involving the integrated and orchestrated function of numerous cells. During a severe infection, innate lung immune cells fight off pathogens, but they can also inadvertently damage surrounding lung tissue, potentially leading to respiratory failure. With few effective drug treatments available in these cases, the only option may be admission to the intensive care unit for advanced mechanical ventilation or life support.
Dr. Bryan Yipp, Canada Research Chair in Pulmonary Imunology, Inflammation and Host Defense, seeks to better understand the development of lung damage and subsequent failure, as well as how the lung coordinates its innate immune cells.
Using advanced imaging tools, Dr. Yipp studies the coordinated, real-time actions of actual immune cells fighting infection. This allows Dr. Yipp to gain new insights into the coordinated operation of the lung’s immune system.
This research could lead to new treatments to bolster the lung’s immune cells, improving their ability to defend against serious and deadly lung infections.