Host Immune Responses to Microbial Pathogens
The goal of this study is to define the similarities and differences in the body's response to infections caused by different types of microbes. once an infectious microbe enters the body, it stimulates the defense mechanisms xnamely the immune system-which reacts to contain and control the infection. in this study we will obtain blood samples from individuals with different infections and we will examine in detail the responses of the immune system to these infections. This will be accomplished by several methods: 1) flow cytometry which allows us to count the number of the different groups of white cells present in the blood that are responding to the infection and whether they are activated or not; 2) eLiSa and PCR to determine cytokine concentrations in serum and confirming the presence of the pathogen in samples already obtained 3) using a novel chip-based technology by looking at Rna expression we will determine which genes that regulate the immune responses are activated in each particular type of infection. The same analyses will be performed on blood from healthy control patients for purposes of comparison and interpretation. nasal swab/wash samples may be obtained as indicated, for further immune characterization or to ensure the absence of co-existing viral illness. This study will provide information that will be helpful to understand the body's responses to pathogens and potentially could help in the development of new vaccines and therapies. Many subjects will be studied only once. Subgroups of study patients may have follow-up blood samples and nasal swab/nasal wash samples obtained to analyze and assess changes in immune response over time and with the institution of therapy. inpatient follow-up blood samples may be obtained at 48-72hrs and 1 week. outpatient samples may be obtained at one month, 3-6 months, and within one to two three years after enrollment.
Children and adults, male and female from all different ethnic groups and minorities with documented infections and also healthy volunteers will be eligible for the study.