Cell Biology
& Immunology

Department of Cell Biology and Immunology

In recent years, the importance of the immune system and of various other immunological issues in general, has had an ever-increasing impact, both in modern medical practice and in society at large. Especially since last year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the public’s need for answers to questions such as, what immunity is and how it can be developed, are constantly increasing.

The immune system has evolved into a highly adaptive defense system against pathogenic microorganisms, but also against various conditions such as cancer. The immune system has the ability to respond quickly, and specifically to identify, isolate, and destroy a huge variety of foreign antigens by using and activating a plethora of cells and molecules. The network of these cells and molecules, which work together dynamically and adaptively is extremely complex, approaching the complexity of other systems, such as the nervous system.

Immune-inducing cells include phagocytes, e.g. mononuclear, polymorphonuclear neutrophils, and lymphocytes, such as e.g. T, B and NK lymphocytes.

Two important properties of the immune system, whose dysfunction can lead to pathological conditions (e.g. autoimmunity) are the specificity and memory of the adaptive immune responses. Memory, in particular, is very important, because it contributes to a more efficient response to the body’s subsequent encounters with the same specific antigen.

The Department of Cell Biology and Immunology performs diagnostic tests whose main purpose is the investigation and analysis of cell populations in both health and disease, using the flow cytometry method. Such pathological conditions include immunodeficiencies, infertility, miscarriages, and hematological malignancies. The department of Cell Biology and Immunology is focused on the investigation of infections; in the future, the flow cytometry method is predicted to be heavily involved in the study of autoimmune conditions.

In the Laboratory of Cell Biology and Immunology the following tests are performed:

A) By the method of Flow Cytometry:

  • Immunophenotypic analysis – standardization of subpopulations of peripheral blood lymphocytes, T, B, NK.
  • Determination of NK cell subpopulations.
  • Determination of CD 4 / CD 8 T Lymphocytes.
  • Bone marrow immunophenotype.
  • Standardization of lymphohyperplastic  diseases.
  • PNH clone detection.
  • Detection of leukocyte antigen HLA – B27.
  • Detection of anti-paternal antibodies.
  • Measurement of sperm apoptosis (annexin method).
  • Determination of sperm DNA fragmentation (DNA Fragmentation Index (DFI)),
  • Measurement of oxidative stress markers (ROS) in sperm sample (DNA lesions, etc.)
  • Detection of infectious agents (Chlamydia trachomatis, CMV, HSV1 / 2) in sperm sample (SPI test TM ).
  • Detection of chlamydia (Chlamydia trachomatis ) and other infectious agents in cervical smear.
  • Measurement of the cytotoxic activity of NK cells.
  • Cytokine determination to measure Th1 / Th2 lymphocyte ratio.
  • Determination of CD34 + cells in umbilical cord blood.
  • Detection of ESAT-6 antigen for the detection of tuberculosis cases.

B) Special operations and tests for infertility and spontaneous miscarriages:

  • Preparation of anti-paternal vaccine.
  • Thromboelastogram for immediate monitoring of coagulation and fibrinolysis parameters.
  • Sperm diagram.

Head of Immunology and Cell Biology Dept.
Vassilis Tsilivakos MD, PhD
Pathologist & Immynologist

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