NOV 17, 2020 8:00 AM PST
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Key Features of Immune Cells During SARS-CoV2 Infection

Speaker
  • Assistant Professor, General Pathology and Immunology, School of Medicine, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena - Italy and ISAC Marylou Ingram Scholar
    Biography

      Sara De Biasi is Assistant Professor of General Pathology and Immunology at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia School of Medicine (Italy). Dr. De Biasi obtained her PhD in Clinical and Experimental Medicine (area of interest: Immunology) from the same University in 2013. She then worked as post-doc in the lab of Immunology directed by Prof. Andrea Cossarizza. Most of her work has focused on adaptive immune response during HIV infection, autoimmune diseases, and cancer. In particular, she studied the role of rare cells such as iNKT cell and circulating endothelial cells (CEC) in these conditions. Sara De Biasi is interested in the dynamics of T cell homeostasis and functions in conditions of acquired immunodeficiencies. Her work focused on multiple sclerosis as a model to study autoimmunity. In particular, she has been investigating the role of innate-like T cells (iNKT cells), rare cell populations among peripheral blood mononuclear cells. In addition, she has taken advantage of her experience acquired in the field of rare events detection such as iNKT cells to study circulating endothelial cells (CEC), their precursor (EPC) in different type of cancers. More recently she has studied the immunology of SARS-CoV2. Dr. De Biasi is an International Society for Advancement of Cytometry (ISAC) Marylou Ingram Scholar and serves on several ISAC task forces. She is very involved in teaching flow cytometry, being active part of the CYTO U task force and of the Live Education Task Force.


    Abstract

    Date:  November 17, 2020

    Time: 8:00am PST and 5:00pm PST.

    * When registering for this event, you will access to both live broadcasts.

     

    COVID-19 is a complex pathological condition caused by infection with SARS-CoV. Different features have been observed in samples with a severe SARS-CoV-2 infection, one of these is the progressive increase of immune-mediated inflammation. Indeed, several reports have described abnormally increased levels of cytokines in plasma from samples infected by SARS-CoV-2, that has been defined “cytokine storm,” similarly to what described in bacterial sepsis or after CAR-T cell therapy. We have deeply investigated by flow cytometry the immune system and cells producing cytokines in samples affected by SARVS-CoV-2 in 21 samples and 13 controls. Sampes show an increased percentage of activated, exhausted T lymphocytes. B cell compartment showed even greater modifications, with decreased naïve and memory cells. Monocytes showed relevant signs of functional exhaustion, while neutrophils expressed more markers linked to degranulation. We found that in vitro stimulation caused a relevant production of TNF-α, IFN-γ and IL–2, as well as a significant skewing towards the Th17 phenotype.

     

    Learning Objectives

    • Present the Cytokine Storm consequences in SARS-CoV-2 affected individuals on the key features and functionality of the immune cells during SARS-CoV-2 infection
    • Outline the alterations of the T lymphocytes compartment and their impact on the progression of disease
    • Discover additional novel strategies to treat patients infected by SARS-CoV-2

     

     

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