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Institute of Immunology (IfI)

Laboratory for Comparative Immunology

The Laboratory for Comparative Immunology analyzes basic mechanisms of the innate immune response against bacterial or viral pathogens in different animal models (rainbow trout, rabbit, and swine) in comparative approach with a special focus on the interaction of epithelial cells with different leukocytes in the initial immune response and in the regulation of resistance mechanisms. Using modern methods (flow cytometry, gene expression analysis), we investigate the functional role of different leukocyte populations in the kinetic of immune responses. To identify functional leukocyte populations we develop monoclonal antibodies against differentiation markers especially for rainbow trout.

Moreover, we perform basis research to develop new vaccination approaches (oral vaccination of fish with bacterial “outer membrane vesicles; OMV” recombinant dual vaccine against RHDV1 and RHDV2 of rabbits). Here we aim to characterize the vaccination-induced immune response especially in juveniles and the possible influence of maternal antibodies and/or juvenile resistance on the development of a protective immune response.

Rainbow trout
  • Identification and functional characterization of leukocytes populations with newly established monoclonal antibodies against differentiation marker
  • Development of principle solutions for  oral vaccination against bacterial and viral pathogens
  • Characterization  of the  mucosal and systemic immune response after oral vaccination
Swine
  • Pigs as  biomedical model: Analysis of the interaction of epithelial cells and dendritic cells in the lungs after monocausal and co-infection with Influenza A Virus (H1N1) and Streptococcus suis
  • Identification and functional characterization of rare immune cell populations (ILC)
Rabbits
  • Development of a recombinant dual vaccine against RHDV1 and RHDV2 
  • Characterization of the influence of maternal antibodies and juvenile Resistance on the kinetics of protective immune responses after vaccination of juvenile rabbits
  • Identification and functional characterization of rare immune cell populations (ILC)