Khalid Al-Anazi

Khalid Al-Anazi

King Fahad Specialist Hospital, Saudi Arabia

Title: The future role of stem cells as antimicrobial therapeutics


Dr. Khalid Al-Anazi is a consultant hematologist and head of Department of Adult Hematology and Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (HSCT) at King Fahad Specialist Hospital (KFSH) in Dammam, Saudi Arabia. He graduated from the College of Medicine, King Saud University (KSU) in Riyadh, in the year 1986. After passing his Boards in Internal Medicine, he trained in clinical hematology and HSCT at King’s College Hospital, University of London, U.K. He has 24 year experience in adult clinical hematology and HSCT at Riyadh Armed Forces Hospital then King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre (KFSH&RC) in Riyadh, King Khalid University Hospital (KKUH) in Riyadh and KFSH in Dammam Saudi Arabia. During his work at KFSH&RC in Riyadh, he looked after the first matched unrelated donor allogeneic HSCT and he contributed to the success and achievements of that institution in the years 2004 and 2005. He established the HSCT unit at KFSH in Dammam in 2010. He was selected as the best teacher in the department of internal medicine at KKUH & the College of Medicine, KSU in Riyadh in the year 2014. Also, he has 60 publications including retrospective studies, review articles, book chapters and electronic books and he reviews for 21 international medical journals in addition to being an editorial board member of 6 stem cell transplantation, hematology, cancer and infectious diseases journals.


There are three main types of stem cells: (1) totipotent stem cells, (2) multipotent or adult stem cells that include mesenchymal stem cells [MSCs], and (3) pluripotent stem cells that include embryonic stem cells [ESCs] and induced pluripotent stem cells [iPSCs]. Recently, stem cell therapies have gained enormous potential as various types of stem cells have been shown to potentially cure various intractable and chronic diseases. Two types of stem cells, MSCs and iPSCs, are receiving particular attention in the treatment of various infectious complications. MSCs are heterogeneous progenitor cells that have the capacity of self-renewal and multi-lineage differentiation. They can be obtained from several sources including: bone marrow (BM), peripheral blood, cord blood, placenta, amniotic fluid, skin and adipose tissue. They have certain distinguishing features and their immunomodulatory and immunosuppressive properties enable them to have several therapeutic applications. On the other hand, iPSCs can be derived from a wide variety of cells and tissues, belonging to the three germ layers, and can avoid the obstacles and ethical issues that limit the use of ESCs. Their reprogramming requires the presence of several elements. They exhibit specific stringency criteria and they have certain identification properties. MSCs are essential constituents of the framework that supports organ integrity and tissue barriers. Suppression of both T and B cells allows them to be major players in controlling inflammatory response and in the innate response to bacterial infection. Human BM-MSCs possess direct antibacterial activity against Gram-negative bacilli and they have been shown to improve survival and reduce mortality in animal models having septic complications. BM-MSCs are effective in treating sepsis and acute respiratory distress syndrome in high-risk patients such as those with malignant hematological disorders, recipients of solid organ and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) and patients receiving advanced level of care in intensive care units.

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