Joost van Neerven
Professor Mucosal Immunity (endowed chair)
Publications Joost van Neerven
Research interests: Mucosal Immunology Profile:
Mucosal infections are an important cause of illnesses in young infants as well as in domestic animals. The mucosal immune system is challenged every day with many harmless substances as well as with many potential threats. The mucosal immune system needs to decide when to respond, and to respond in an adequate manner, without reacting excessively to prevent inflammation. It is known that food intake can modulate immune responses in the intestines as well as in the upper airways. The fact that food components have an effect on intestinal immunity is easy to understand as food is swallowed and comes into close contact with the intestines. It is less clear how food can have an effect on mucosal immunity in the upper airways. Therefore, we are investigating the mechanisms via which food components can modulate the mucosal immune system, with a special focus on the upper airways. We know that milk, that is used as a basis for infant nutrition, is linked to the prevention of allergies and infections in the upper respiratory tract. As such milk is of particular interest, especially as we know that bovine milk contains many ingredients that have an effect on the mucosal immune system.
STW project :Modulation of immune responses in the upper airways: contribution of novel dairy ingredients