Why we are taking on infection and immunity research
Infectious diseases are responsible for nearly a quarter of all global deaths* and continue to pose a formidable threat. Infections are also a leading cause of disability, loss of quality of life, and stigma, often affecting disproportionately the poorest communities in the world.
At the same time, the incidence of life-threatening or life-altering autoimmune diseases has been steadily increasing over the last three decades. Autoimmune conditions are now found to affect around one in ten people in the UK.**
Discovering the secrets of the immune system is not only required to battle infections and autoimmunity. The transformative impact of immunotherapies in non-communicable diseases, particularly cancer treatment, has opened new research frontiers in immunology.
Breakthrough approaches demonstrate the immense potential of vaccines and immunotherapies in revolutionising disease management, offering hope for a range of conditions.
* The Francis Crick Institute - Infectious diseases
** Incidence, prevalence, and co-occurrence of autoimmune disorders over time and by age, sex, and socioeconomic status: a population-based cohort study of 22 million individuals in the UK. The Lancet, Volume 401, Issue 10391, 2023, doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(23)00457-9