The project is based on the collection of already existing biosamples from patients with atopic dermatitis. In addition, we are currently collecting biosamples from the Zoster cohort and the HSV cohort. The samples of the RESIST study with the general population of Hannover serve as controls. Further, samples from elderly persons before and after VZV vaccination will be investigated. Here, the overall aim is to investigate anti-viral T cell responses in detail.
With our long-standing experience regarding innate and adaptive immunity and the inflammatory processes in patients suffering from AD, we are in a unique position to investigate the immune response in susceptible individuals. In previous in vitro studies involving affected patients, we found increased frequencies of T cells directed against HSV-1 that showed a probably ineffective immune response (Traidl et al. 2018). These findings suggested that the atopy-biased inflammatory milieu in these patients leads to the generation of virus-specific T cells that harbor a sub-optimal immune response against viruses. Applying our established set of methods to longitudinally characterize the dynamics of T cell responses, we aim to identify and will perform a deep phenotypical and functional characterization of pathogenic αβ as well as γδ T cells.