What does it mean to be immunocompromised? And why does this increase your risk of coronavirus?

The Conversation published an article by YPL Alumnus Fabien Vincent

Fabien Vincent is a physician-scientist currently employed as a research fellow in the rheumatology group, centre for inflammatory diseases at Monash University, Australia. In 2013 he was selected by the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) to be part of the Young Physician Leaders (YPL) programme.

“My experience during the YPL programme workshop and at the World Health Summit in Berlin was unique and very fruitful for both my professional and personal leadership development,” he says.

“Through skills gained, experience and networks, the YPL programme has been of inestimable value to enable me to carry on my current and future projects. Being selected to attend this event, and representing IAP and its values, has also greatly foster my career development,” he added.

Fabien Vincent, together with Sarah Jones, Research Fellow at the Centre for Inflammatory Disease, Monash University, recently wrote an article on The Conversation that sheds some light on why being immunocompromised increases your risk of coronavirus.

Immunocompromised is a broad term reflecting the fact someone’s immune system isn’t as strong and balanced as it should be

Because immunocompromised people’s immune systems are defective or ineffective, they’re unable to stop invasion and colonisation by foreign intruders, including the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19.

An under-performing immune response leaves people susceptible to infection, but the severe symptoms in some people are actually caused by a huge immune response sweeping over the whole body.

The reasons for this, explains the article, are varied, and can be complex and intertwined (you can read the whole article here).

Fabien Vincent's specialization is in rheumatology with a focus on autoimmunity, specifically molecular and B cell immunology, and biomarker development in systemic lupus erythematosus - he has a strong interest in Indigenous Australian health research.

Lupus is an incurable and severe chronic systemic illness, and for unknown reasons, is two to four times more frequent and severe in Indigenous Australians compared with other Australians” explains a post on the blog of the School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health. To discover more about this issue, you can check this article on Lupus by Fabien Vincent on The Conversation.

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