Neuroinflammation has been recognized as a component of Alzheimer's Disease (AD) pathology since the original descriptions by Alois Alzheimer and a role for infections in AD pathogenesis has long been hypothesized. More recently, this hypothesis has gained strength as human genetics and experimental data suggest key roles for inflammatory cells in AD pathogenesis. To review this topic, Duke/University of North Carolina (Duke/UNC) Alzheimer's Disease Research Center hosted a virtual symposium: “Infection and Inflammation: New Perspectives on Alzheimer's Disease (AD).” Participants considered current evidence for and against the hypothesis that AD could be caused or exacerbated by infection or commensal microbes. Discussion focused on connecting microglial transcriptional states to functional states, mouse models that better mimic human immunity, the potential involvement of inflammasome signaling, metabolic alterations, self-reactive T cells, gut microbes and fungal infections, and lessons learned from Covid-19 patients with neurologic symptoms. The content presented in the symposium, and major topics raised in discussions are reviewed in this summary of the proceedings.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100462
JournalBrain, Behavior, and Immunity - Health
StatePublished - Jul 2022


  • Alzheimer's
  • Fungi
  • Infection
  • Inflammasome
  • Inflammation
  • Metabolism
  • Microbe
  • Microbiome
  • Microglia


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