Geraldine, Peter and Cengiz are delighted to announce that the cutting edge, collaborative study comparing vaccine-elicited immunity to SARS-CoV-2 variants in hamster models is finally published in Nature Microbiology! Many thanks to our key co-operators Julia, Dusan, Emanuel and Jakob at the MDC and FU Berlin! Always a delight working with you! The study evaluates the efficacy of a live-attenuated nasal vaccine, sCPD9, developed by the FU Berlin, in comparison to currently available COVID-19 vaccines including the mRNA vaccine BNT162b2 and the adenovirus-vectored spike vaccine Ad2-spike in hamsters infected with SARS-CoV-2. The findings highlight the extensive mucosal and systemic immunity elicited by the live-attenuated nasal vaccine sCPD9, which results in superior protection of the host compared to other vaccination strategies, following SARS-CoV-2 infection. We hope that this work will pave the way for further investigations of nasal live-attenuated vaccines and the advantages conferred by evoking strong localized and mucosal immunity!
It is with a heavy heart that we say farewell to Romina, but we are also delighted to be able to call her our alumni and wish her a very successful future in her new chapter! All the very best Romina!
The team enjoyed presenting their projects at the DGP Congress in Düsseldorf! Thank you to Peter, Romina and Lisa for the valuable representation of our group.
Safe travels to Peter, Lisa and Romina who are on their way to the 63rd DGP Congress in Düsseldorf! Peter will give a talk on „Interspecies analysis to dissect cellular transcriptomic signatures of humans and hamsters in COVID-19“, Romina on „Experimental investigation of adjuvant therapies in severe pneumonia and ventilation“, while Lisa will present her poster titled „Approaching xeno-free cultivation and utilization of pulmonary pathogens in vitro“
It was a great pleasure to attend the 26th Symposium „Infection and Immune Defense“ of the DGfI and DGHM Study Group Infection Immunology at Burg Rothenfels! We gained a lot of insight into the impressive research conducted by all working groups in the field of infection immunology. Many thanks to Prof. Anca Dorhoi for the organization!
Congratulations to Cengiz for having his work describing the role of microRNA-223 in pneumococcal pneumonia published! The scope of this study describes the implications of RNA interference in regulating the murine neutrophil transcriptome, whilst also highlighting the correlation of serum microRNA-223 expression and pneumococcal disease severity in a human cohort. We hope that this work will pave the way to elaborate further on the molecular mechanisms involved in immune cell effector functions during pneumococcal pneumonia, while also helping advance novel treatment options for severe lung infections!
Congratulations to Chantal for having her work describing the immunogenicity and tolerability of repetitive bacteriophage treatment published! A special praise for her very first First Author publication, which required hard work and dedication that makes us very proud! This work will allow us to elaborate our investigations regarding the use of bacteriophages as therapeutics in bacterial lung infection models in the near future!
Welcome to our new lab member, Katharina Clausnitzer! Happy to have you on board. Katharina will join forces with Chantal to investigate the potential of phages as therapeutics against respiratory diseases.
Congratulations to Peter and Cengiz for their collaborative work in describing how to dissociate and process healthy and diseased lung tissue for single-cell transcriptome analysis!
One cannot visit the X-mas market too often. Thank you for the wonderful ride through 2022 and enjoy your holidays.
Thanks to Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, we enjoyed the X-mas market.
Scientist night out! We spent a lovely evening together and sweated from hot pot instead of pipetting!
Congratulations to Aina Lask, Birgitt Gutbier and Martin Witzenrath for their latest publication. Happy we could contribute to your research. Read here to learn more about the potential of Vasculotide as an adjunctive therapy to antibiotics in bacterial pneumonia.
Lask, A. et al. (2022). Adjunctive therapy with the Tie2 agonist Vasculotide reduces pulmonary permeability in Streptococcus pneumoniae infected and mechanically ventilated mice. Scientific reports 12.
We are back at work, energized and inspired after a 3-day internal retreat of basic and clinical research teams within Martin Witzenrath’s Department of Infectious Diseases and Respiratory Medicine. It was a fantastic opportunity for grouped scientific discussions and bonding exercises, including extracurricular activities, competitions, dancing and great food.
We are happy to have contributed to the study of our cooperation partners at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut, where we describe vaccine-associated enhanced respiratory pathology in COVID-19 hamsters after TH2-biased immunization.
Congratulations to our cooperation partners Sybille Schirm and Markus Scholz for their excellent work in devising a biomathematical model of atherosclerosis in mice. This work has significant implications for the framework of the e:Med research and funding concept SYMPATH.
Welcome to our new lab member Karen Hoffmann! We are excited to have on board her knowledge and expertise on novel organotypic human lung models for studying bacterial infections.
Congratulations to Peter Pennitz, our Leipzig collaborator Holger Kirsten and of course the rest of the dream team for publishing work on the cross-species comparison of single-cell transcriptomes from human (Homo sapiens), African green monkey (Chlorocebus sabaeus), pig (Sus domesticus), hamster (Mesocricetus auratus), rat (Rattus norvegicus) and mouse (Mus musculus) lung cells!
By employing techniques such as RNA velocity and intercellular communication based on ligand-receptor co-expression, we have demonstrated a workflow for interspecies data integration, applied a single unified gene nomenclature, performed cell-specific clustering and identified marker genes for each species.
Pennitz, P. et al. (2022). A pulmonologist’s guide to perform and analyse cross-species single lung cell transcriptomics. European respiratory review : an official journal of the European Respiratory Society 31.
The Berlin hamster consortium has made an important step towards better transcriptional evaluation of COVID-19 disease, thanks to their successful genome annotation of the Roborovski Dwarf Hamster; an animal model for severe/critical COVID-19. Special compliments to Sandro Andreotti and Emanuel Wyler!
You find a detailed description about the methodology on GitHub.
Andreotti, S. et al. (2022). De Novo-Whole Genome Assembly of the Roborovski Dwarf Hamster (Phodopus roborovskii) Genome: An Animal Model for Severe/Critical COVID-19. Genome biology and evolution 14.
We are delighted that the pre-print of our recent COVID-19 study titled „A live attenuated vaccine confers superior mucosal and systemic immunity to SARS-CoV-2 variants“ has attracted widespread attention in various public media outlets. We hope to continue engaging with and communicating our scientific findings to the general public. Below you can find some of the press releases relating to our study:
The preprint of our COVID-19 study titled „A live attenuated vaccine confers superior mucosal and systemic immunity to SARS-CoV-2 variants“ is now available here. Many thanks to our collaboration partners at Freie Universität Berlin, BIMSB, MDC and BIH to help spearhead this major contribution to the field of vaccine research.
Together with our collaborators at the MDC and FU Berlin, we describe the effectiveness of a combination therapy involving anti-SARS-CoV-2 monoclonal antibodies and dexamethasone for treatment of COVID-19 in two distinct hamster models. Using single-cell transcriptomics, we identified a subpopulation of neutrophils responsive to dexamethasone treatment and characterized the synergistic anti-viral effects of monoclonal antibody and dexamethasone combination therapy.
You find the press release at the Charité-Website.
Wyler, E. et al. (2022). Key benefits of dexamethasone and antibody treatment in COVID-19 hamster models revealed by single-cell transcriptomics. Molecular therapy : the journal of the American Society of Gene Therapy 30.
Welcome to our new group member Lisa Pfeiffer, who will be working with Peter Pennitz and Cengiz Gökeri on their Charité 3R project titled: “Approaching xeno-free cultivation and utilization of pulmonary pathogens in vitro”.
Congratulations to Peter Pennitz and Cengiz Gökeri for being awarded the Charité 3R grant for “xeno-free in vitro science”! They will be evaluating various commercially available and self-made xeno-free or xeno-reduced alternatives to cultivate Streptococcus pneumoniae that can be used for in vivo and in vitro models of pneumococcal infection.
Congratulations to Sandra-Maria Wienhold and Markus Brack for their work on preclinical assessment of bacteriophage therapy against pulmonary Acinetobacter baumannii infection in mice. Collaborative efforts identified a potential bacteriophage to treat A. baumannii infection in mice with promising implications for future therapeutic development.
Congratulations to Alexander Taylor for the successful defense of his PhD thesis!
Our COVID-19 study titled „Temporal omics analysis in Syrian hamsters unravel cellular effector responses to moderate COVID-19“ is published in Nature Communications. Many thanks to our collaboration partners at Freie Universität Berlin, BIMSB, MDC and BIH.
You find the press release here.
Congratulations to Cengiz Gökeri and Geraldine Nouailles for receiving a Sonnenfeld Stiftung grant!
Bravo Christoph Tabeling, Sandra-Maria Wienhold and Markus Brack for publishing their work related to pulmonary fibrosis in Fra-2 transgenic mice and the subsequent susceptibility to pneumococcal pneumonia, we are thankful we could contribute.
Tabeling, C. et al. (2021). Pulmonary fibrosis in Fra-2 transgenic mice is associated with decreased numbers of alveolar macrophages and increased susceptibility to pneumococcal pneumonia. American Journal of Physiology. Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology 320.
Longitudinal omics in Syrian hamsters integrated with human data unravel complexity of moderate immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 – as a result of great interdisciplinary collaboration our preprint is out now on bioRxiv. We sincerely thank our collaborators from Freie Universität Berlin, BIMSB, MDC, BIH and Charité.
We are delighted to have contributed towards the clinical trial involving the pneumococcal exotoxin pneumolysin and its effects on platelets.
Bravo to Sibylle Schirm, Markus Scholz and team from the e:med consortium. In our most recent study, we devised a biomathematical model of immune response and barrier function in mice with pneumococcal lung infection.