Viral Immune Modulation

Pathogens (germs) infiltrate our bodies daily but do not remain undetected. They encounter the strong defenses of our immune system, which recognizes invaders and promptly takes appropriate measures. However, many pathogens can produce life-long infections even with an intact immune system. The herpesvirus family is one such group of pathogens. Upon infection, herpesviruses establish a chronic infection and become lifelong companions. 
The investigation into the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in a meat processing plant can be found here.

Leader

Selected Publications

Günther T, Czech‐Sioli M, Indenbirken D, Robitaille A, Tenhaken P, Exner M, Ottinger M, Fischer N, Grundhoff A, Brinkmann MM.
SARS‐CoV‐2 outbreak investigation in a German meat processing plant
EMBO Mol Med. 2020. e13296 (DOI: 10.15252/emmm.202013296)

Stempel M, Chan B, Brinkmann MM.
Coevolution pays off: Herpesviruses have the license to escape the DNA sensing pathway.
Med Microbiol and Immunol. Aug 2019. 208: 495. (DOI: 10.1007/s00430-019-00582-0)

Stempel M, Chan B, Juranić Lisnić V, Krmpotić A, Hartung J, Paludan SR, Füllbrunn N, Lemmermann NA, Brinkmann MM.
The herpesviral antagonist m152 reveals differential activation of STING-dependent IRF and NF-κB signaling and STING's dual role during MCMV infection.
EMBO J. 2019 Jan 29. pii: e100983. [Epub ahead of print] (DOI: 10.15252/embj.2018100983)

Bussey KA, Lau U, Schumann S, Gallo A, Osbelt L, Stempel M, Arnold C, Wissing J, Gad HH, Hartmann R, Brune W, Jänsch L, Whitehouse A, Brinkmann MM.
The interferon-stimulated gene product oligoadenylate synthetase-like protein enhances replication of Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) and interacts with the KSHV ORF20 protein.
PLoS Pathog. 2018 Mar 2;14(3):e1006937. eCollection 2018 Mar. (DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1006937)

Chan B, Gonçalves Magalhães V, Lemmermann NAW, Juranić Lisnić V, Stempel M, Bussey KA, Reimer E, Podlech J, Lienenklaus S, Reddehase MJ, Jonjić S, Brinkmann MM. (2017)
The murine cytomegalovirus M35 protein antagonizes type I IFN induction downstream of pattern recognition receptors by targeting NF-κB mediated transcription.
PLoS Pathog. 2017 May 25;13(5):e1006382. eCollection 2017 May. (DOI:10.1371/journal.ppat.1006382)

A complete list of publications can be found here.

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Video

  • How to stop the coronavirus with the Cheesemodel

    Virologist Prof Melanie Brinkmann compares measures against the coronavirus with swiss cheese. No measure is perfect but many measures together could be the key to success.

  • How is the HZI contributing to the management of the coronavirus pandemic?

    Since the beginning of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) in Braunschweig has focused its research activities on the novel coronavirus. Representative for the diverse research projects at HZI, three scientists present their contributions to coping with the pandemic. Prof Michael Meyer-Hermann is developing mathematical models for the course of the pandemic. Prof Melanie Brinkmann has investigated transmission pathways in a large coronavirus outbreak and shown that the pathogen can be spread via aerosols. Prof Gérard Krause is leading an antibody study to monitor the development of the pandemic and is developing digital tools such as the SORMAS system to support the public health service in pandemic response.

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Contribution in the HZI staff magazine "InFact"

The Super Striker: How herpesviruses dribble out the immune system

If we imagine viruses and human immune cells as opposing soccer teams, we would observe a spectacular game: The viruses have barely gained possession of the ball and they are already storming down the field towards their goal. If the defence players and goalie of the opposing team, the human immune cells, do not reach their positions quickly enough the viruses’ goal cannot be prevented and a human is infected.

You can read the article here

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