Image description: The picture shows infection spores in the background. Inset picture - Akiko Iwasaki, PhD. The title reads America: Post-Acute Infection Syndromes Will Be the Focus of New YSM Center. ME Association logo bottom right.

America: Post-Acute Infection Syndromes will be the Focus of New Center at Yale School of Medicine

Yale School of Medicine Press Release

Researchers will investigate Long COVID, myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome, and post-treatment Lyme disease at the Center for Infection & Immunity

The COVID-19 pandemic and the prevalence of Long COVID have shed light on the urgent need to study post-acute infection syndromes. The mission of the new center will be to provide a greater understanding of the basic science behind infectious diseases, with an emphasis on Long COVID, post-treatment Lyme disease, and myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). It is the first center of its kind, says its creator Akiko Iwasaki, PhD, YSM’s Sterling Professor of Immunobiology.

“Post-acute infection syndromes have historically been ignored. They’ve been going on for decades—or maybe hundreds of years—but we haven’t been paying attention. Our center is uniquely positioned to tackle these diseases because of our building expertise from Long COVID and our many collaborations across different disciplines.”

Akiko Iwasaki, Professor of Immunobiology.

Post-acute infection syndrome refers to chronic diseases that occur after an acute viral, bacterial or parasitic infection. They occur most frequently in middle-aged women. While not new, the syndrome’s prevalence is significantly growing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, in which as many as 10% of infections have led to Long COVID, leaving individuals with lingering, often debilitating symptoms. Researchers estimate that 75 million people globally are suffering with the disease, and as new infections continue to arise daily, there’s “no end in sight,” says Iwasaki.

New center will study infectious disease pathobiology and prevention

The research through CII will focus on the pathobiology of Long COVID, ME/CFS, and post-treatment Lyme syndrome. Although these post-acute infection syndromes are triggered by different pathogens, because they often share similar symptoms – including fatigue, unrefreshing sleep, dysautonomia, and pain – Iwasaki believes they share similar pathologies.

“If we can identify even with one of these diseases what an underlying cause of disease is, then we can apply that knowledge to prevent and treat other kinds of post-acute infection syndromes.”

The center’s members will include the following world-leading experts: Anne Wyllie, PhD, Nathan Grubaugh, PhD, Craig Wilen, MD, PhD, Maudry Laurent-Rolle, MD, PhD, Ellen Foxman, MD, PhD, Ruslan Medzhitov, PhD, Anna Pyle, PhD, Benjamin Goldman-Israelow, MD, PhD, Erol Fikrig, MD, David Martinez, PhD, Albert Ko, MD, Carolina Lucas, PhD, Inci Yildirim, MD, PhD, Albert Shaw, MD, PhD, John Tsang, PhD, Lisa Sanders, MD, Carlos Oliveira, MD, PhD, Charles Dela Cruz, MD, PhD, Justin Belsky, MD, Harlan Krumholz, MD, David van Dijk, PhD, Wade Shulz, MD, PhD, Leying Guan, PhD, and Smita Krishnaswamy, PhD.

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