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All right, so my topic is toll-like
receptors and their signaling pathways.
And their role in infectious diseases and
in the inflammatory process.
And really this has been a very exciting
area for immunology over the past,
I guess, ten years or so.
Because the discovery of these toll-like
receptors has really increased our
understanding of the immune response,
especially innate immunity.
And really the way we view it is it
has been a renaissance of interest in
the innate immune response and
how that kicks in and
respond to bacterial pathogens.
Also viruses, fungi, parasites,
every pathogen that infects us,
these toll-like receptors have a key role.
And I'm gonna go over what
toll-like receptors are,
a bit of history about how
they were discovered and
then their main role in the inflammatory
and infectious response.
So what we're really talking
about is inflammation, and
inflammatory diseases are a major
problem for humanity.
The overall incidence is about 25%.
And inflammatory diseases include
things like infectious diseases,
which is a major topic period of course.
But also diseases like arthritis,
rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, asthma,
MS, Crohn's disease, colitis.
All of these involve defective
inflammatory processes and of course,
inflammation evolved as a way
to handle pathogens and
come up with a way to defend us against
pathogens like viruses and bacteria.
When it goes wrong,
we get these horrible diseases.
And of course there are drugs
out there to treat inflammation,
There are newer drugs like Enbrel and
Remicade, which block things like TNF,
Rituxin blocks B cells,
Tosilimumab blocks IL-6.
But really over the past 10 to 15 years or
so, innate immunity has
become a major focus for studies into
inflammation and the inflammatory process.
The hope being that if we understand the
innate immune response we'd have better
treatments for infection, and
also these inflammatory diseases.
And this is firmly where these
toll-like receptors sit,
their discovery as I say gave rise
to this big increase in knowledge
of the innate immune response,
and give us new hope for
the targeting of these horrible
pathogens during infectious diseases.