Marien de Jonge
Marien de Jonge's main research interest is focused on understanding host-pathogen interactions and mucosal immune responses to improve prevention, diagnosis and treatment of viral and bacterial respiratory tract infections in children. The level of maturity of the immune system in the first stages of life determines the vulnerability and severity of disease in children, in which the innate immune system plays a central role. We study the role of the innate immunity during the course of respiratory syncytical virus (RSV) infections in young children to identify biomarkers associated with severe disease. Currently, clinically approved vaccines against the bacterial pathogens Bordetella pertussis and Streptococcus pneumoniae are given in the first years of life. Of significant concern is that these vaccines do not effectively prevent the establishment of infection. Immunological insights into the pathophysiology of these pathogens will help to improve vaccine strategies and enhance protection. Current projects explore novel strategies for mucosal antigen-adjuvant delivery for the development of intranasal vaccines and innovative diagnostic strategies for point of care testing.