Infection, Immunity and Inflammation Research Group at Queen's (3IQ)
Infectious agents have a major impact on global health. Recent data compiled by the World Health Organization indicate that upwards of 13.75 million people die each year due to infectious diseases – the leading cause of death on earth. These diseases caused by bacteria, fungi, viruses and other pathogens are also major causes of morbidity, and social and economic hardships for many millions more. The current influenza A H1N1 and HIV pandemics, the recent emergence of pathogens such as the SARS coronavirus, the re-emergence of bacterial pathogens such as M. tuberculosis, the increasing prevalence of once-controlled pathogens that are resistant to our antimicrobial drugs, and the frequency of sporadic outbreaks of highly virulent bacterial pathogens contaminating our food and water supplies are just a few examples that serve as important reminders of our vulnerability to infectious diseases. Furthermore, inflammation, a process closely associated with the clearance of infections, is also responsible for a large variety of human diseases. These disorders include allergy, cancer, cardiovascular disease and inflammatory intestinal diseases, to name a few. These observations highlight the need for strong investment in research into infection, immunity and inflammation.