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BONUS EPISODE The Immune System and Covid with Professor Danny Altmann


View BONUS EPISODE The Immune System and Covid with Professor Danny Altmann

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Today I’m speaking with Professor Danny Altmann from Imperial College about Covid-19 and the post  viral syndrome associated with its infection currently referred to as “Long Covid”.  Not a lot is known about this chronic condition which for some people is absolutely debilitating, it could affect 500,000 people in the UK or more and  we really need to further research this condition and build the infrastructure to tackle it.

Professor Altmann heads a lab at the Hammersmith Hospital Campus of Imperial. Key research interests are the immunology of infectious disease including severe bacterial infections, Zika virus and Chikungunya virus. Other projects focus on autoimmune disease including the role of the microbiota in rheumatoid arthritis.

 

Today we refresh our memories about what we know about covid:

  • Danny gives us a quick recap on the immune system
  • How the virus enters cells via the ACE-2 receptor which is found on multiple sites of the body
  • The inflammasome, why it’s useful and what goes wrong with covid
  • The >50 symptoms of long covid including fatigue, headache, loss of attention and SOB
  • The theoretical mechanisms of long covid – multi organ fibrosis, persistent undetected infection, AI/inflammatory conditions
  • The parallels with other post viral syndromes such as EBV and post Ebola
  • Diagnostic uncertainty in Medicine
  • Vaccine and Variants
  • The different types of Antibodies

 

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Summary

It was a real pleasure to speak with Professor Danny Altmann on the podcast to talk about this really topical subject – I hope you found it as interesting as I did and we’ve added some links below to a few articles for reference and further reading:

Do watch out for another two podcast episodes on Long Covid this week too!

 

Immune determinants of COVID

Prof Altman on Long Covid  (BMJ)

 

50 long term effects  of Long Covid

 

 


Guest: Professor Danny Altmann

Danny Altmann is a Professor of Immunology who has been based at the Hammersmith Hospital campus of Imperial College since 1994. He runs an immunology research lab which has a focus on HLA genes, T cells and NK cells in autoimmunity and infectious disease. Many of the research projects are run collaboratively with Professor Rosemary Boyton as co-PI 

The research lab has expertise in the HLA system, antigen discovery, T cell subsets and NK cells. Key research interests are the immunology of  infectious disease including severe bacterial infections, Zika virus and Chikungunya virus. Other projects focus on autoimmune disease including the role of the microbiota in rheumatoid arthritis and autoimmune immunotoxicity in cancer immunotherapy. He serves as editor for a number of journals and has roles with a number of funding organisations.

 


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