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Operating state of the art technologies

DRFZ contributions to fighting COVID-19

With its technological expertise the DRFZ has a unique arsenal to explore the immunity against the corona-virus and the generation of monoclonal antibodies against SARS-Cov2. Here is an overview:

  • State of the art technologies for identification, isolation, analysis and use of single human immune cells from blood and tissue (fluorescence-based and mass cytometry, fluorescence-based and magnetic cell sorting (MACS technology)
  • The DRFZ has developed worldwide unique methods for the identification of inflammation-associated monocytes (Siglec-1), virus-specific NK cells, reactive T lymphocytes (ARTE technology), reactive B lymphocytes and plasma cells (HLA-DR).
  • Platform for global investigation of such cells on single-cell level (single-cell omics, CITE-Seq, antigen receptor repertoire, bioinformatics)

Publications with DRFZ contribution

To investigate the development of immunity against Sars-Cov-2-infections, two at the DRFZ developed methods to enrich and study rare antigen-specific T cells were utilized:

SARS-CoV-2-reactive T cells in healthy donors and patients with COVID-19 (nature)

Julian Braun, Lucie Loyal, Marco Frentsch and Claudia Giesecke-Thiel and Andreas Thiel (all former DRFZ members), professor at the BCRT in Berlin now have shown that in people who have never had contact with the SARS-Cov2 virus, memory T helper cells with cross-reactivity between common corona viruses and the SARS-Cov2 virus exist.

Pre-existing T cell memory as a risk factor for severe 1 COVID-19 in the elderly (medRxiv)

Using the ARTE-technology developed at the DRFZ, Petra Bacher and Alexander Scheffold, former members of the DRFZ, have shown that pre-existing SARS-CoV2 specific memory T cells not always protect from severe Covid-19 symptoms, they could even become a risk factor for severe Covid 19 in the elderly. Both researchers are now professors at Kiel University.

Contact at the DRFZ:

Therapeutic Gene Regulation || Regine von Ramin Lab Molecular Rheumatology || BCRT/DRFZ Single-Cell Laboratory for Advanced Cellular Therapies Dr. Mir-Farzin Mashreghi Phone +49 (0)30 28460-752 mashreghi@drfz.de more
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