Hygiene und Medizinische Mikrobiologie

Logo Hygiene EN



Assoc. Prof. Priv.-Doz. Mag.Dr.rer.nat.

Tel.: +43 (0)512 9003-70704
Fax: +43 (0)512 9003-73700
E-Mail: doris.wilflingseder@i-med.ac.at

Curriculum Vitae, Career-related Activities


Research Interests

Together with my work group at the Division of Hygiene and Medical Microbiology, I study various aspects of opsonization (acute-chronic phase of infection). We study different antigen-presenting cells exposed to opsonized/non-opsonized viral or fungal pathogens and consequently the impact of the opsonization pattern on capacity cell functions. Some infectious agents, i.e. HIV, developed mechanisms to resist and even exploit the host immune response and become persistent. Additionally, fungal infections play a role as opportunistic pathogens that gained importance in the last few years due to their common occurrence in immunocompromised patients. Therefore, we are investigating host-pathogen interactions in more detail by integrating innate (complement) and adaptive (antibodies) humoral immune components in all our experimental set-ups.

Impact of pathogen opsonization on infection and T cell stimulatory capacity of antigen-presenting cells
 > Wilfried Posch, Post-Doc; Marion Steger, PhD student; Ulla Knackmuß, PhD student; Karolin Lechleitner, technician

Complement- and Fc receptor signaling in DCs > Ulla Knackmuß, MSc; Wilfried Posch, Post-Doc

Furthermore we are eager to learn more about HIV interactions during all steps of pathogenesis. This is achieved by establishing optimized animal-free approaches for studying long-term interactions of HIV and opportunistic pathogens. To date animal models are used to investigate the processes in the lymphoid  tissue upon uptake of antigens (Ag) and about 12 million animals are used each year in scientific procedures in the European Union. Of these, around 10,000 are non-human primates (SCHER, 2009) and that’s why alternative approaches are needed to reduce the need of non-human primates. Therefore, we plan to re-construct the T cell zone of an ´artificial lymph node´ in vitro. This system will allow to exactly characterize the function of different antigen-presenting cells in the induction of immune responses against a broad array of infections and can thus be used for multifaceted approaches. Additionally It will enable testing of novel improved immunization strategies thereby representing a good alternative to animal testing.

Construction of an artificial lymph node for optimized in vitro studies of chronic diseases
> Marion Steger, PhD student; Wilfried Posch, Post-Doc; Karolin Lechleitner, technician

Another aspect of our research is to define the mechanisms of Amphotericin B resistance in clinical isolates of Aspergillus terreus. Amphotericin B (AmB) is extensively used to treat life-threatening fungal infections, but most Aspergillus terreus isolates exhibit an intrinsic resistance against this antifungal drug. Therefore, we are comparing rare susceptible with resistant strains to characterize the mode of action of AmB in more detail.


New insights into molecular mechanisms of Aspergillus terreus AmB resistance > Michael Blatzer, Post-Doc; Emina Jukic, PhD student



Research Fields

pfeil-klein.jpg interactions of differentially opsonized pathogens (viruses [HIV], fungi, bacteria) with dendritic cells:
    impact on maturation, antigen-presentation, signaling, synapse formation

pfeil-klein.jpg complement system

pfeil-klein.jpg antigen presentation, DC subsets, T cells

pfeil-klein.jpg development of 3D-cell culture system approaches





pfeil-klein.jpg Award 'Höchste Drittmitteleinwerbung einer wissenschaftlichen Mitarbeiterin der Medizinischen
    Universität Innsbruck' 2013

pfeil-klein.jpg Award 'Preis der Landeshauptstadt Innsbruck' 2012

pfeil-klein.jpg 'Austrian Microbiology 2008' Award

pfeil-klein.jpg Poster price 2007 at the congress of the Austrian society for Allergology and Immunology (ÖGAI)

pfeil-klein.jpg Hypo-Tirol-Bank Scientific award 2005 of the Innsbruck Medical University

pfeil-klein.jpg Poster price 2004 at the congress of the Austrian society for Allergology and Immunology (ÖGAI)

pfeil-klein.jpg 2nd price winner at the European Contest for young scientists on protein purification 1999 in Paris,













Wilfried Posch, PhD

Interactions of dendritic cells with differentially opsonized
pathogens (with a special focus on HIV), antigen
presentation (T cell responses) and establishment of a 3D-cell
culture model

Michael Blatzer, PhD

Molecular mechanisms underlying Amphotericin B
resistance, stress und adaptation

Karolin Thurnes

Cell culture, cultivation of HIV, immunological and molecular
methods/analyses (ELISA, ELISPOT, flow cytometry,
immunoblotting, real-time PCR)

Marta Bermejo Jambrina, MSc
PhD student

DC-iphering complement- and Fc-receptor-mediated
HIV-1 incorporation in and effects on DC function in
search for novel therapeutical targets

Manuela Schönfeld, MSc
PhD student

HIV-1/dendritic cell interactions during bacterial co-infections

Marion Steger, MSc
PhD student

A complementary view on dendritic cell-pathogen interaction.








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