Our main research interest focuses on viral infections and antiviral NK cell responses in immunocompetent individuals and immunocompromised transplant recipients. We are fascinated by the interaction of human NK cells with immune evasion mechanisms of infecting persistent Herpes- and Anelloviruses. We further attempt to understand, why distinct virus-specific and defective HLA-E-mediated immune responses result in severe viral diseases.
Techniques, methods & infrastructure
Our scientific challenges are addressed using a multidisciplinary approach with techniques from molecular cell biology, cell culture, immune cell isolations, fluorescence microscopy, immunological assays and flow-cytometry.
- Vietzen, H. et al. (2021) ‘Dissection of the NKG2C NK cell response against Puumala Orthohantavirus’, PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases. Edited by M.R. Holbrook, 15(12), p. e0010006. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0010006.
- Vietzen, H. et al. (2021) ‘Association between chronic lung allograft dysfunction and human Cytomegalovirus UL40 peptide variants in lung-transplant recipients’, The Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation, 40(9), pp. 900–904. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.healun.2021.05.011.
- Vietzen, H. et al. (2021) ‘Deletion of the NKG2C receptor encoding KLRC2 gene and HLA-E variants are risk factors for severe COVID-19’, Genetics in Medicine, 23(5), pp. 963–967. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41436-020-01077-7.
- Vietzen, H. et al. (2021) ‘Extent of Cytomegalovirus Replication in the Human Host Depends on Variations of the HLA-E/UL40 Axis’, mBio. Edited by D. Paraskevis, 12(2). Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/mbio.02996-20.
- Vietzen, H. et al. (2022) ‘High-affinity FcγRIIIa genetic variants and potent NK cell-mediated antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) responses contributing to severe COVID-19’, Genetics in Medicine, 24(7), pp. 1449–1458. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gim.2022.04.005.