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Immunotherapy ; 14(11): 839-842, 2022 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1910921


The Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies (FOCIS) regularly organizes scientific meetings to foster advances in immunology. A new event of this type is FOCIS Goes South, a course and workshop organized by FOCIS Centers of Excellence (FCEs) from across Latin America, which consists of a course on advanced immunology, a flow cytometry workshop and seminars on cutting-edge research in autoimmunity, tolerance, cancer, infectious diseases and vaccines. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the second version of FOCIS Goes South, hosted by the Millennium Institute on Immunology and Immunotherapy in Chile, took place virtually from 15 to 18 November 2021, with more than 950 registered participants. The present article summarizes the key findings and insights discussed at FOCIS Goes South 2021.

Allergy and Immunology , COVID-19 , Neoplasms , COVID-19/therapy , Chile , Humans , Immunotherapy , Pandemics
Immunol Cell Biol ; 99(9): 917-921, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1325006


Type-I interferons (IFNs) mediate antiviral activity and have emerged as important immune mediators during coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19). Several lines of evidence suggest that impaired type-I IFN signaling may predispose to severe COVID-19. However, the pathophysiologic mechanisms that contribute to illness severity remain unclear. In this study, our goal was to gain insight into how type-I IFNs influence outcomes in patients with COVID-19. To achieve this goal, we compared clinical outcomes between 26 patients with neutralizing type-I IFN autoantibodies (AAbs) and 192 patients without AAbs who were hospitalized for COVID-19 at three Italian hospitals. The presence of circulating AAbs to type-I IFNs was associated with an increased risk of admission to the intensive care unit and a delayed time to viral clearance. However, survival was not adversely affected by the presence of type-I IFN AAbs. Our findings provide further support for the role of type-I IFN AAbs in impairing host antiviral defense and promoting the development of critical COVID-19 pneumonia in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2-infected individuals.

Autoantibodies/immunology , COVID-19 , Interferon Type I/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Italy
Immunol Cell Biol ; 99(2): 168-176, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-751690


Big data has become a central part of medical research, as well as modern life generally. "Omics" technologies include genomics, proteomics, microbiomics and increasingly other omics. These have been driven by rapid advances in laboratory techniques and equipment. Crucially, improved information handling capabilities have allowed concepts such as artificial intelligence and machine learning to enter the research world. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown how quickly information can be generated and analyzed using such approaches, but also showed its limitations. This review will look at how "omics" has begun to be translated into clinical practice. While there appears almost limitless potential in using big data for "precision" or "personalized" medicine, the reality is that this remains largely aspirational. Oncology is the only field of medicine that is widely adopting such technologies, and even in this field uptake is irregular. There are practical and ethical reasons for this lack of translation of increasingly affordable techniques into the clinic. Undoubtedly, there will be increasing use of large data sets from traditional (e.g. tumor samples, patient genomics) and nontraditional (e.g. smartphone) sources. It is perhaps the greatest challenge of the health-care sector over the coming decade to integrate these resources in an effective, practical and ethical way.

Genomics/trends , Metabolomics/trends , Precision Medicine/trends , /trends , Artificial Intelligence/trends , COVID-19/epidemiology , Genomics/methods , Humans , Medical Oncology/methods , Medical Oncology/trends , Metabolomics/methods , Pandemics , Precision Medicine/methods , Proteomics/methods , Proteomics/trends , Time Factors , /methods