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Autophagy and coronavirus infection – a Trojan horse or Achilles heel?

Seiler K, Tschan MPP
Swiss Med Wkly. 2021;151:w20468

Many of the more promising compounds currently investigated in clinical trials are autophagy modulators, thus substantiating the need for an understanding of how coronaviruses interact with and utilise components of the autophagy pathway.

Immunosuppression management in renal transplant recipients with normal-immunological risk: 10-year results from the Swiss Transplant Cohort Study

Original article
Krisl A, Stampf S, Hauri D, Binet I, Mueller T, Sidler D, Hadaya K, Golshayan D, Pascual M, Koller M, Dickenmann M, the Swiss Transplant Cohort Study (STCS)
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20354

Primary maintenance immunosuppression with tacrolimus has displaced ciclosporin-based therapies. The tacrolimus-based immunosuppression therapy showed consistently better results across almost all assessed clinically relevant outcomes.

When a T cell engages a B cell: novel insights in multiple sclerosis

Review article: Biomedical intelligence
Jelcic I, Sospedra M, Martin R
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20330

This short review summarises important new insights into the interaction between these two cell populations and outlines recent observations regarding how memory B cells activate brain-homing autoreactive T cells in multiple sclerosis.

Do fathers care about their own immunisation status? The Child-Parent-Immunisation Survey and a review of the literature

Original article
Erb ML, Erlanger TE, Heininger U
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20289

This is the first study to analyse the complete immunisation status of fathers of young children. It is often incomplete with potentially missed opportunities for updating vaccinations during recent physician consultations. 

Unexpected liaisons between old cytokines and new deadly virus

Beretta A
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20315

Researchers in Italy have not only identified new unexpected liaisons between old cytokines and the new coronavirus that open the way to the use in COVID-19 of drugs already approved for other diseases, but they have also provided valuable indications on how to better prepare ourselves to face a possible second wave of infection.

Swiss newborn screening for severe T and B cell deficiency with a combined TREC/KREC assay – management recommendations

Review article: Biomedical intelligence
Trück J, Prader S, Natalucci G, Hagmann C, Brotschi B, Kelly J, Bassler D, Steindl K, Rauch A, Baumgartner M, Fingerhut R, Hauri-Hohl M, Güngör T, Pachlopnik Schmid J, Berger C, Reichenbach J
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20254

The recent introduction of newborn screening for severe primary T and B cell deficiencies in Switzerland allows rapid identification of patients with severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID). The authors outline the screening procedure currently performed in Switzerland and give recommendations for diagnostic evaluations and precautionary measures against infection in children with abnormal screening test results.

Immunoglobulins or convalescent plasma to tackle COVID-19: buying time to save lives – current situation and perspectives

Tamburello A, Marando M
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20264

During the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic different treatments are being explored and tested, in the absence of official management protocols. Some show initial promise, many have been tried out without sound biological bases. Plasma and H-IVIG of recovered patients are a tried and tested approach that could prove helpful in the short term.

The cellular prion protein beyond prion diseases

Review article: Biomedical intelligence
Manni G, Lewis V, Senesi M, Spagnolli G, Fallarino F, Collins SJ, Mouillet-Richard S, Biasini E
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20222

The cellular prion protein (PrPC), a cell surface glycoprotein originally identified for its central role in prion diseases, has recently been implicated in the pathogenesis of other neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. This article provides an overview of what is known about the role of PrPC beyond prion disorders and discusses the potential implications of targeting this protein in different diseases.

Is antibody-dependent enhancement playing a role in COVID-19 pathogenesis?

Negro F
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20249

The pathogenesis of COVID-19 is currently believed to proceed via both directly cytotoxic and immune-mediated mechanisms. An additional mechanism facilitating viral cell entry and subsequent damage may involve the so-called antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE).

HLA studies in the context of coronavirus outbreaks

Sanchez-Mazas A
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20248

Little is known at the moment about specific immune mechanisms that would work against SARS-CoV-2, although such knowledge is expected to play a vital role. In this context, a particular focus has to be given to the human leucocyte antigen system that governs our adaptive immunity.

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