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Seven different 'disease forms' identified in mild COVID-19: Study provides new information for a better understanding of the disease -- and potential biomarkers for vaccine development -- ScienceDaily

In the study involving 109 convalescents and 98 healthy individuals in the control group, the researchers were able to show that various symptoms related to COVID-19 occur in symptom groups. They identified seven groups of symptoms: 1) "flu-like symptoms" (with fever, chills, fatigue and cough), 2) ("common cold-like symptoms" (with rhinitis, sneezing, dry throat and nasal congestion), 3) "joint and muscle pain," 4) "eye and mucosal inflammation," 5) "lung problems" (with pneumonia and shortness of breath), 6) "gastrointestinal problems" (including diarrhoea, nausea and headache) and 7) "loss of sense of smell and taste and other symptoms." "In the latter group we found that loss of smell and taste predominantly affects individuals with a 'young immune system', measured by the number of immune cells (T lymphocytes) that have recently emigrated from the thymus gland. This means that we were able to clearly distinguish systemic (e.g., groups 1 and 3) from organ-specific forms (e.g. groups 6 and 7) of primary COVID-19 disease," says Pickl.

Muscles support a strong immune system -- ScienceDaily

"If the T-cells, which actively fight the infection, lose their full functionality through continuous stimulation, the precursor cells can migrate from the muscles and develop into functional T-cells," said Jingxia Wu, lead author of the study. "This enables the immune system to fight the virus continuously over a long period." So could regular training strengthen the immune system? "In our study, mice with more muscle mass were better able to cope with chronic viral infection than those whose muscles were weaker. But whether the results can be transferred to humans, future experiments will have to show," explains Guoliang Cui.

Dietary interventions may slow onset of inflammatory and autoimmune disorders -- ScienceDaily

During an immune response, T cells flood the affected area to help the body fend off pathogens. Jones, Larochelle and their teams found dietary methionine fuels this process by helping "reprogram" T cells to respond to the threat by more quickly replicating and differentiating into specialized subtypes. Some of these reprogrammed T cells cause inflammation, which is a normal part of an immune response but can cause damage if it lingers, such as the nerve damage that occurs in multiple sclerosis. The researchers also found that significantly reducing methionine in the diets of mouse models of multiple sclerosis altered the reprogramming of T cells, limiting their ability to cause inflammation in the brain and spinal cord. The result was a delay in the disease's onset and slowed progression.

Probiotic Shot May Alleviate Brain Stress | GEN

“Given the evidence for reduced immunoregulation and chronic low-grade inflammation in anxiety and trauma-related disorders, microbial interventions that increase Treg, promote immunoregulation, and increase anti-inflammatory signaling may have value in the prevention or treatment of these disorders,” the authors suggest. M. vaccae has previously been shown to increase induction of Treg production and anti-inflammatory cytokines. A previous study by CU Boulder scientists showed that mice given injections of a heat-killed M. vaccae preparation and then placed in housing with an aggressive male exhibited less anxiety-like behavior and were less likely to suffer colitis or peripheral inflammation than control animals. These findings suggest that immunoregulatory and anti-inflammatory treatments can “buffer against the proinflammatory effects of stress,” the researchers point out.  What hasn’t been studied before is whether M. vaccae has a direct impact on stress-induced neuroinflammation.

Probiotic Shot May Alleviate Brain Stress | GEN

Studies have also shown that patients with anxiety- and trauma-related conditions have reduced numbers of regulatory T cells (Tregs, while research also suggests that trauma, illness, or surgery can sensitize certain regions of the brain to mount an inflammatory response to subsequent stressors, which can lead to mood disorders. “There is a robust literature that shows if you induce an inflammatory immune response in people, they quickly show signs of depression and anxiety," says lead author Matthew Frank, Ph.D., a senior research associate in the department of psychology and neuroscience. "Just think about how you feel when you get the flu."

Beyond killing tuberculosis: How can we tolerate an infection without eliminating a pathogen? -- ScienceDaily

"In contrast to conventional thinking, we show that T cells are essential for regulating the body's toler-ance to Mtb infection," explains one of the study's first authors, Dr. Nargis Khan, who is currently a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Divangahi's lab at the RI-MUHC. Giving the widespread drug resistance to various Mtb strains the limited pipeline of effective antibiotics and the lack of an efficient vaccine, alternative approaches to treat TB are urgent. "If we could understand the mechanisms of 'natural immunity' that controls TB in 90-95 per cent of infected individuals," says Dr. Divangahi,"we will able to design a novel therapy or vaccine to substantially reduce the world wide burden of this ancient disease."

Researchers Watch Brain's Lining Heal After Head Injury - Neuroscience News

“The lining of the brain, with help from the immune system, has a remarkable ability to put itself back together again after injury,” said Dorian McGavern, Ph.D., scientist at the NIH’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and the senior author of the study published in Nature Immunology. “As we learn more about all the cells involved in the repair process, we may be able to identify potential targets for therapy that lead to better outcomes for patients.” The study came about from an observation on MRI scans of adult patients who experienced a concussion or mTBI. Around half of patients with mTBI show evidence of injury to blood vessels in the meninges, which appears on MRI scans as a vascular dye leaking out of the damaged vessels. The meninges are a collection of membranes that line the central nervous system and help protect brain and spinal cord tissue from various forms of injury. Damage to the meninges can cause cell death in underlying brain tissue.

Risk of type 1 diabetes climbs when one population of T cells falls: Study in mice links protective immune cells that form outside the thymus with autoimmune diabetes -- and suggests that gut microbes affecting this cell population may protect against disease -- ScienceDaily

The researchers now hypothesize that microbes in the gut, where most of this pTreg cell population is switched on, may be responsible for generating these protective cells and thus protecting against the autoimmune attack on pancreatic beta cells that cause type 1 diabetes. "Most of these pTregs are made in the gut," Kissler says. "We know both that gut microbes promote the development of pTregs, and that gut microbes have an impact on type 1 diabetes." Many studies in mouse models, and more recent research among human populations as well, have correlated differences in gut microbe populations with risks of developing the autoimmune condition.

Antibiotic use increases risk of severe viral disease in mice | The Source | Washington University in St. Louis

“Once you put a dent in a microbial community, unexpected things happen,” Thackray said. “Some groups of bacteria are depleted and different species grow out. So increased susceptibility may be due to both the loss of a normal signal that promotes good immunity and the gain of an inhibitory signal.” The researchers tested immune cells from mice treated with antibiotics and found that they had low numbers of an important immune cell known as killer T cells. Normally, during an infection T cells that recognize the invading virus multiply to high numbers and play a critical role in controlling the infection. Mice treated with antibiotics generated fewer such T cells.