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
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