Alexis KALERGIS

Millennium Institute for Immunology and Immunotherapy, Santiago, CHILE, ICGEB CSA Member

Impairment of immunological and neurological synapses by respiratory viruses. Implications for vaccine design

Host: L. Banks

Respiratory viruses are a leading public health burden worldwide due to inefficient

viral immunity in the host. By inducing an excessive inflammatory response, these

viruses can cause severe symptoms in the respiratory and nervous tissues, such as

bronchiolitis and encephalopathy. In addition, some respiratory viruses impair T cell

and dendritic cell function by suppressing the immunological synapse assembly.

This could be a significant virulence factor to evade host immunity and enhance

susceptibility to reinfection.

Respiratory viruses can also cause learning impairment due to alterations in the

blood-brain barrier and inflammation in the central nervous system after infection

and the entry of immune system components to the CNS, damaging the function of

neurons and astrocytes. These data have contributed to novel vaccine approaches to

strengthen the immunological synapse leading to a safe and efficacious immunity

capable of protecting against respiratory pathogens, such as RSV and SARS-CoV-2.

The immunity triggered by these vaccines can also reduce CNS damage caused by

respiratory viruses.

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