Issue: 2003 > July > editorial

Immunomodulation by antimicrobial drugs

J.W.M. van der Meer


Immunomodulation aims at either enforcement of host defence mechanisms or dampening of the inflammatory response of the host. Thus, immunomodulatory drugs may enhance host defence by either stimulating the inflammatory response or inhibiting the counter-regulatory, anti-inflammatory response. On the other hand, the response of the host may be down-modulated through inhibition of the inflammatory response or induction of counter-regulatory, anti-inflammatory mechanisms. Antimicrobial drugs may have such immunomodulatory effects, but so far these effects have not been exploited clinically.