Licensing opportunity

Diagnosing pathogens and immune responses in patients with respiratory diseases

Updated on 21 August 2020

Researchers at the University of Dundee have developed a method that simultaneously detects and quantifies pathogens and host immune responses in patients with respiratory diseases including COPD, bronchiectasis and cystic fibrosis, enabling effective and accurate therapeutic intervention.

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At a glance
  • Simultaneously detects and quantifies pathogens and host responses
  • Identifies pathogen profile changes associated with exacerbations
  • Detects the pathogenic cause of exacerbation
  • Reveals personal pathophysiology of respiratory diseases
  • Permits personalised medicine in respiratory disease exacerbations
  • Compatible with reducing agents


Respiratory pathogens, and the responses of patient’s innate and adaptive immune systems to them, are critical determinants for development and progression of respiratory diseases such as COPD, bronchiectasis and cystic fibrosis. Current diagnostic methods for pathogens are either culture or PCR based but they do not provide the information of how patients react to pathogens. Understanding of pathogen/host responses, especially as patients move from stability to an exacerbation, enables effective and timely treatment.

The Opportunity

The PEPPIRR workflow methodology, created by Dundee researchers and clinicians, provides a potentially game-changing method for improving timely treatment of respiratory diseases. PEPPIRR allows a simultaneous evaluation of pathogens and host immune responses in sputum samples from patients with respiratory diseases.

Image of PEPPIRR graph


  • Detect the change of pathogen profiles of bronchiectasis patients transiting from a stable condition to acute exacerbation
  • Identify which pathogens are underlying an exacerbation in bronchiectasis
  • Assess cell-specific host response profiles
  • Allow systematic evaluation of several classes of proteins implicated in pathophysiology and aetiology of respiratory disease

PEPPIRR is therefore a novel and powerful tool that provides a comprehensive landscape view of pathogen, aetiology and pathophysiology in the airway that are highly relevant to respiratory diseases.

Commercial Opportunity

The University is seeking a commercial partner for this methodology and contact is welcomed from organisations interested in licensing and/or collaboration.

IP Status

Patent application in draft


Research and Innovations

+44 (0)1382 384664
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