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B cells are critical to the proper functioning of the immune system. However, researchers at Karolinska Institutet have shown that they can sometimes do more harm than good, as their numbers greatly increase after bowel damage, preventing the tissue from healing. The results, which are presented in the journal Immunity, can be of significance to the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease.
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By measuring immune cells in the cerebrospinal fluid when diagnosing ALS, it is possible to predict how fast the disease may progress according to a study from Karolinska Institutet published in Nature Communications.
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Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have shown that patients with acute COVID-19 infection have increased levels of the cytokine IL-26 in their blood. Moreover, high IL-26 levels correlate with an exaggerated inflammatory response that signifies severe cases of the disease. The findings, which are presented in Frontiers in Immunology, indicate that IL-26 is a potential biomarker for severe COVID-19.  
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The Committee for Research at Karolinska Institutet has decided on recipients from the Jonas Söderquist scholarship foundation for basic research in virology and immunology 2022. Quirin Hammer at the Department of Medicine, Huddinge (MedH) and Daniel Sheward at the Department of Microbiology, Tumor- and Cell Biology (MTC)) are awarded.
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Four research projects coordinated from Karolinska Institutet have been awarded project grants by Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation (KAW) in 2022. This means that, over SEK 135 million are allocated to KI research in the fields of immunology, neuroscience, and stem cell biology.
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A study at Karolinska Institutet shows that the coronavirus variant BA.2.75.2, an Omicron sublineage, largely evades neutralizing antibodies in the blood and is resistant to several monoclonal antibody antiviral treatments. The findings, published in the journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases, suggest a risk of increased SARS-CoV-2 infections this winter, unless the new updated bivalent vaccines help to boost immunity in the population.
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Meet Anna Smed Sörensen, research group leader at the Division of Immunology and Allergy, Department of Medicine, Solna.
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Audience: Medarbetare
Medicin, Solna, Imm o alle
On September 27 a minisymposium will be arranged in association with the 2022 Nicholson lecture with focus on COVID-19 and the immune response against SARS-CoV-2
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Audience: Medarbetare
Lower immunity and recurring infections are common in type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Researchers at Karolinska Institutet now show that the immune system of people with diabetes has lower levels of the antimicrobial peptide psoriasin, which compromises the urinary bladder’s cell barrier, increasing the risk of urinary tract infection. The study is published in Nature Communications.
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Congratulations to Jenny Mjösberg at Karolinska Institutet who has been appointed Professor of tissue immunology at the Department of Medicine, Huddinge from July 1, 2022.
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Audience: Medarbetare
Medicin, Huddinge, Centrum för Infektionsmedicin
In a new analysis, Karolinska Institutet is ranked number eight in a list of organizations with the most published articles on COVID-19 and the immune response. KI also stands out as one of the universities that has had the most international collaborations in the field. The analysis was conducted by Chinese researchers without a connection to KI and is published in the journal Frontiers in Public Health.
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Researchers at Karolinska Institutet present the results of a refined clinical COVID-19 test, which has been used to track the spread of the Omicron variant in real time in the Swedish population. The study, published in the journal Med, provides new insights into the dominance transition of Omicron sublineages that occurred consistently across the world.
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The clinical outcome and severity of COVID-19 cannot be explained by a single factor like age, gender, or comorbidities. A new study from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden has identified potential determinants of COVID-19 severity at the cellular level using advanced systems biology analysis. The findings, published in the journal Cell Systems, offer insights into the metabolic tug-of-war in the human body and its association with disease severity.
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Researchers at Karolinska Institutet and Danderyd Hospital have followed participants who have received three doses of the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine and compared their immune responses after Omicron infection. The results, which are published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, show that Omicron infection elicits significantly higher antibody responses in individuals without prior COVID-19 infection as compared to previously infected individuals.
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The nervous system is known to communicate with the immune system and regulate inflammation in the body. Researchers at Karolinska Institutet now show how electrical activation of a specific nerve can promote healing in acute inflammation. The finding, which is published in the journal PNAS, opens new ways to accelerate resolution of inflammation.
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Researchers at Uppsala University and Karolinska Institutet are one step closer to explaining why COVID-19 patients have a substantially increased risk of blood clots. The study, published in Nature Immunology, shows that a gene variant in the innate immune system influences the risk for blood clots in the lungs of severely ill COVID-19 patients.
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Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have mapped how the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi forms new variants that are more effective at evading the immune system and causing disease. Their findings can give rise to new methods for diagnosing, preventing and treating Chagas disease, which affects millions of people in Central and South America, causing thousands of deaths every year. The study is published in the journal eLife.
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Currently available therapies to treat multiple sclerosis (MS) lack precision and can lead to serious side effects. Researchers at KI have now developed a method for identifying the immune cells involved in autoimmune diseases, and have identified four new target molecules of potential significance for future personalised treatment of MS. The results, which are published in Science Advances, have been obtained in collaboration with KTH Royal Institute of Technology and Region Stockholm.
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Sophie Erhardt is interviewed in The Scientist in the article "Is the immunesystem to blame for Schizophrenia?
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By analysing samples from patients who have been treated for malaria in Sweden, researchers at Karolinska Institutet can now describe how the immune system acts to protect the body after a malaria infection. The results, published in the journal Cell Reports, provide knowledge that can aid in the development of more effective vaccines against the disease.
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Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have identified key signalling pathways that when blocked by existing drug candidates limit reproduction of the Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) virus. The findings, published in the journal eLife, offer hope for patients affected by this potentially deadly disease.
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Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have developed a novel strategy for identifying potent miniature antibodies, so-called nanobodies, against emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants. The approach led to the discovery of multiple nanobodies that in cell cultures and mice effectively blocked infection with different SARS-CoV-2 variants. The findings, which are described in the journals Nature Communications and Science Advances, could pave the way for new treatments against COVID-19.
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Late last year, preliminary studies revealed that the fast-spreading Omicron SARS-CoV-2 variant was likely to evade COVID-19 antibodies but, in many people, less so than expected. Now one of those studies from Karolinska Institutet has been published in the prestigious journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases. KI researcher Ben Murrell explains the findings and recalls the rush to understand the new variant.
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There is a lack of understanding as to why some people suffer from long-lasting symptoms after COVID-19 infection. A new study from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, the Helmholtz Center Munich (HMGU) and the Technical University of Munich (TUM), both in Germany, now demonstrates that a certain type of immune cell called macrophages show altered inflammatory and metabolic expression several months after mild COVID-19. The findings are published in the journal Mucosal Immunology.
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Little has been known to date about how the immune system’s natural killer (NK) cells detect which cells have been infected with SARS-CoV-2. An international team of scientist led by researchers from Karolinska Institutet now shows that NK cells respond to a certain peptide on the surface of infected cells. The study, which is published in Cell Reports, is an important piece of the puzzle in our understanding of how the immune system reacts to COVID-19.
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The omicron variant can partly evade the antibody response provided by vaccination or infection with previous variants of SARS-CoV-2. However, T cells still recognise omicron, scientists at Karolinska Institutet report in a study published in the journal Nature Medicine.
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From our first breath, our lungs are exposed to microorganisms, such as bacteria and viruses. Thanks to immune cells in the lungs, so-called macrophages, we are protected from most infections at an early age. In a new study published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, researchers from Karolinska Institutet show how lung macrophages develop; new findings that can help to reduce organ damage and that are significant for the continued development of important lung disease treatments.
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KI researcher Marcus Buggert has been awarded the prestigious ERC Starting Grant for his research on human cell-mediated immunity against virus diseases. In all, the European Research Council through this call will invest EUR 619 million in 397 young research leaders.
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Instead of searching for proteins that the immune system reacts against in a specific autoimmune disease, researchers have taken the opposite approach to find diseases linked to a certain protein. By searching among patients with various skin diseases, they identified a disease linked to autoimmunity against the skin protein TGM1. The strategy, which is presented in the journal PNAS, can facilitate the diagnosis and treatment of autoimmune diseases.
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Researchers at Karolinska Institutet report that a recently discovered inflammatory mediator, interleukin-26, appears to have an important role in pneumonia and contribute to the killing of bacteria. The study is published in the scientific journal Frontiers in Immunology - Microbial Immunology.
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Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have analysed the presence of SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies and memory cells of the immune system in young adults. The results, published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, show that over one in four had antibodies due to the infection. Fewer of these individuals had measurable levels of memory B and T cells compared with other age groups. The researchers will now study long COVID in young adults and the effects of vaccination on immunity.
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Antibodies in the airways quickly wane after SARS-CoV-2 infection, but vaccination results in a strong increase in antibody levels, especially after two doses, according to a new study from Karolinska Institutet published in the journal JCI Insight. The results suggest that having a second dose of vaccine also after recovering from COVID-19 may be important for protecting against re-infection and to prevent transmission.
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COVID-19 disease severity seems to be affected by the characteristics of white blood cells called granulocytes, which are part of the innate immune system. Combined measurements of granulocytes and well-known biomarkers in the blood can predict the severity of the disease, according to a new study from Karolinska Institutet. The results are published in the journal PNAS and may eventually contribute to more tailored treatments for COVID-19 patients.
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Our bodies can fine-tune the immune response to an infection and make it proportional to the threat at hand. New research from Karolinska Institutet describes how B lymphocytes, the immune cells that make antibodies, choose between different cell fates to balance the magnitude of the acute immune response and the memory response that protects against future threats. The study, published in Immunity, may contribute to the optimisation of vaccines to fight viruses or other pathogens.
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Researchers at Karolinska Institutet and their British colleagues have identified a possible contributory cause of fibromyalgia, a difficult to treat pain condition. In a study on mice and human tissue, the researchers found that fibromyalgia patients’ antibodies played a key part in symptom development. The results, which are published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation, pave the way for developing new treatment strategies.
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Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have analysed and described in detail the immune cells residing in the human bile duct. The findings may pave the way for new treatment strategies against disorders of the bile duct, which are often linked to immunological processes. The study is published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.
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Many diseases caused by a dysregulated immune system, such as allergies, asthma and autoimmunity, can be traced back to events in the first few months after birth. To date, the mechanisms behind the development of the immune system have not been fully understood. Now, researchers at Karolinska Institutet show a connection between breast milk, beneficial gut bacteria and the development of the immune system. The study is published in Cell.
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An exciting new way has been found in which the body senses a bacterial infection within 4 hours and uses nerve pathways to trigger an immune response in distant organs. The speed by which an infection can be identified, and how the defence mechanisms are triggered is critical to infection outcome.
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A study involving researchers at Karolinska Institutet and IMBA – Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences – demonstrates how zika and herpes viruses can lead to brain malformations during early pregnancy. The researchers used 3D models of human brains to study which mechanisms are involved in virus-induced microcephaly, a condition where babies are born with smaller-than-usual heads. The results are published in the journal Cell Stem Cell.
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Eight months after mild COVID-19, one in ten people still has at least one moderate to severe symptom that is perceived as having a negative impact on their work, social or home life. The most common long-term symptoms are a loss of smell and taste and fatigue. This is according to a study published in the journal JAMA, conducted by researchers at Danderyd Hospital and Karolinska Institutet in Sweden.
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Researchers at Karolinska Institutet are investigating the efficacy and safety of COVID-19 vaccines in a new study on patients with compromised immune systems, who can become seriously ill if they are affected by COVID-19. On February 23, the first patient in the study was vaccinated with an mRNA vaccine at Karolinska University Hospital. So far, the project has received two grants from the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation of SEK 10 million in total.
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It is necessary to develop additional COVID-19 vaccines, as different vaccine approaches have their advantages and disadvantages and may work synergistically. Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden now report that they have developed a prototype vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 using a DNA vaccine platform that is inexpensive, stable, easy to produce, and shows a good safety profile. A study published in Scientific Reports shows that the vaccine induces potent immune responses in mice.
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Individual variations in how the immune system responds to SARS-CoV-2 appear to impact the severity of disease. Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have now been able to show that patients with severe COVID-19 have significantly elevated levels of a certain type of immune cells in their blood, called myeloid-derived suppressor cells. The study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation may bring an increased understanding of how early immune responses impact disease severity.
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The cause of the inflammatory lung disease sarcoidosis is unknown. In a new study, researchers at Karolinska Institutet have investigated whether a type of immune cell called a monocyte could be a key player in sarcoidosis pathogenesis and explain why some patients develop more severe and chronic disease than others. The study, which is published in The European Respiratory Journal, opens new possibilities for future diagnostic and therapeutic methods.
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A subset of immune cells called gamma delta T cells are associated with increased survival in patients with advanced ovarian cancer, researchers at Karolinska Institutet report in the scientific journal Science Translational Medicine. The findings suggest that promoting gamma delta T cell responses may be a therapeutic option for ovarian cancer, researchers say.
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Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have developed, in collaboration with researchers in Germany and the U.S., new small antibodies, also known as nanobodies, which prevent the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus from entering human cells. The research study, published in Science, shows that a combined nanobody had a particularly good effect – even if the virus mutated. According to the researchers, the nanobodies have the potential to be developed into a treatment for COVID-19.
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In some cases, immune cells in the lungs can contribute to worsening a virus attack. In a new study, researchers at Karolinska Institutet describe how different kinds of immune cells, called macrophages, develop in the lungs and which of them may be behind severe lung diseases. The study, which was published in Immunity, may contribute to future treatments for COVID-19, among other diseases.
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How the immune system adapts to pregnancies has puzzled scientists for decades. Now, findings from an international group of researchers, led by researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, reveal important changes that occur in the thymus to prevent miscarriages and gestational diabetes. The results are published in the journal Nature.
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The blood is the main source of studies on the immune system, despite the fact that most diseases are combated by immune cells in the body’s tissues. A new study from Karolinska Institutet and the University of Pennsylvania has identified which immune cells patrol the human body’s tissues and circulate back into the blood. The study, which is published in Cell, shows that not all T cells do this – some are found mostly in the blood where they constitute a unique part of our immune system.
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Immunotherapy for cancer has made great advances and many patients can now receive effective treatments that were not available ten years ago. However, there are certain types of cancer that do not respond to existing immunotherapy. A study from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) reports on a new kind of immunotherapy that gives hope of more treatment options for cancer in the future.
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08-06-2022