Research Topic

Immunotherapeutic and Immunoprophylactic Strategies for Infectious Diseases

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The study of the immune response to infective agents is pivotal not only to understand the host-pathogen interaction but also for the development of prophylactic and therapeutic strategies to combat infections.

Since Milstein and Köhler's discovery on the generation of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), ...

The study of the immune response to infective agents is pivotal not only to understand the host-pathogen interaction but also for the development of prophylactic and therapeutic strategies to combat infections.

Since Milstein and Köhler's discovery on the generation of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), it was clear that the cloning of immune system-derived molecules would have not only be important to create a new class of therapeutics but also to support the development of innovative vaccine approaches. In this regard, in addition to palivizumab, an approved mAb for the treatment and prevention of respiratory syncytial virus disease, a plethora of other mAbs are under clinical evaluation for infectious diseases. As an example, to cite only a few, mAbs against bacteria such as Bacillus anthracis, Clostridium botulinum and difficile and Staphylococcus aureus and epidermidis as well as against viruses such as Ebola, hepatitis B and C (HBV and HCV), herpes simplex (HSV), human immunodeficiency (HIV), influenza and rabies are currently evaluated in clinical trials.

Moreover, mAbs are crucial tools to understand the antigenic determinants contributing to protection and for the development of effective vaccines (e.g. epitope-based vaccines). In this context, cross-reactive mAbs featuring a potent neutralizing activity are crucial molecules not only to develop effective immunotherapies but also to design novel immunogens eliciting an effective immune response.

Finally, the engineering of mAbs represent an innovative and recent application that could contribute to enlarge the spectrum of action of these therapeutic strategies. In this regard, the use of T cells engineered with chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) represents a promising strategy for the treatment not only of tumor-related diseases but, recently, is attracting an increased interest also for the eradication of infective pathogens, especially those establishing a persistent infection and in which the current standard of care therapies are not completely effective. As an example, engineering of T cells with CARs directed against HIV, HBV, HCV and Aspergillus fumigatus have been described.

This Research Topic focuses on studies that investigate and discuss the use of antibodies and their possible engineering in order to prevent and eradicate infections.

In particular, articles covering but not limited to the following topics will be considered for submission:

- Use of mAbs as potential immunotherapeutic molecules
- Use of mAbs as potential immunoprophylactic molecules
- Engineering of mAbs (e.g. CARs, minibodies, multivalent antibodies) to develop immunotherapeutic and immunoprophylactic strategies
- Use of mAbs as a tool to develop epitope-based immunoprophylactic strategies
- Use of mAbs to antigenically dissect pathogen-associated targets

The following article types will be accepted for submission: Original Research, Perspective, Mini-Review, Clinical Trial, Protocol, Commentary, Opinion papers, and Case Reports.

RAD is a staff scientist of Pomona ricerca s.r.l., a company involved in the development and pre-clinical evaluation of monoclonal antibodies.


Keywords: Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), infectious diseases, mAb engineering, vaccines, cytokines


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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