Allergy, Immunodeficiency and Translational Immunology

Luis Borrego

Luis Miguel Borrego

Principal Investigator
Graduated in Medicine from University of Lisbon
PhD in Immunology, NOVA Medical School, New University of Lisbon



Edifício Sede, NMS, UNL
Campo dos Mártires da Pátria, 130
1169-056 Lisboa, Portugal

Phone: (+351) 218 803 100
Fax: (+351) 218 851 920
E-mail: luis.borrego(at)

Main Interests:

The prevalence and severity of allergic diseases has been increasing during the last years. The comprehension of the underlying immunological mechanisms is paramount in order to try to establish new laboratory methods for diagnosis, disease monitoring, prognosis and response to therapy in patients with these diseases. We aim to study immune cells, their phenotype and functional activities, and other immune mediators in allergic diseases and moreover their modifications during the natural history of these diseases or after medical interventions, namely drug therapy, immunotheraphy or tolerance induction protocols in allergy. We also have a keen interest in Atopy, namely in the identification of biomarkers and risk factors for atopic diseases.

Primary Immunodeficiencies (PID) are a heterogeneous group of hereditary diseases which present a deficiency in one or more components of the immune system, affecting both innate and adaptive responses. Although PID can evidence a wide spectra of clinical manifestations and laboratory findings, the most common manifestations are related with increased susceptibility to infections, which for the majority of patients start early in life.
Allergy Immun and Translational Immunology lab  1

PID patients can also have predisposition to autoimmune diseases and neoplasia. Considering the severe implications of PID in infants and adolescents, a precise diagnostic is critical for therapeutic purposes, in order to prevent the morbidity and mortality associated to these diseases. Our team is involved in both diagnosis and research projects in PID. The close relation between our group and the clinicians at the Primary Immunodeficiences Service of Hospital D. Estefânia, Centro Hospitalar de Lisboa Central (CHLC) challenges us on the development and implementation of new diagnostic strategies to better respond to their specific questions on the characterization and identification of these diseases.

Allergy Immun and Translational Immunology lab 2

Other immune pathologies, such as autoimmune diseases, are also in our field of interests, as they share parallel processes and mechanisms, and are deeply related to both allergic diseases and immunodeficiencies. We have recently started studying adult patients followed at the Unidade de Doenças Auto-imunes (Autoimmune Diseases Unit), Hospital Curry Cabral, CHLC, initially presenting with autoimmune disorders but subsequently also found to have PID. Once again, a precise diagnosis is essential for the subsequent management of these patients.

Allergy Immun and Translational Immunology lab 4
Allergy Immun and Translational Immunology lab 3

We have also a group of investigators in the area of reproductive immunology. The main focus of research is the immunology of reproduction (understanding the role of immune cells on fetal-maternal immunotolerance).


Current projects in Allergic diseases
- Evolution of the immune profile of atopic and healthy pregnant women: searching precocious biomarkers for atopy in the offspring of atopic women
- The role of purines as biological markers in pediatric asthma
- The immune profile of children allergic to cow's milk proteins under induced oral tolerance protocol

Current projects in Primary Immunodeficiencies
- Unravelling novel genetic and functional mechanisms of primary immunodeficiencies

Current projects in Translation Immunology
- The impact of the immune profile in pregnancy and childbirth (José de Mello Grant)
- Lymphocyte subpopulations in the diagnosis of primary Sjögren's syndrome (José de Mello Grant / Portuguese Rheumatology Society Grant)
- Lymphocyte subpopulations and cytokine expression in uveitis: diagnostic and therapeutic applicability (Portuguese Ophthalmology Society Grant)
- Candidemia biomarkers in septic shock patients (GILEAD go SHAPE GRANT)
- Retinopathy of prematurity: the impact of immune mechanisms
- Presbycusis, tinnitus and quality of life (José de Mello Grant)
- Diabetes mellitus type 1 - an auto-inflammatory disease: evaluation of the immune profile of patients with Type 1 diabetes mellitus along disease establishment (Funded by Sanofi).

  • Códices V, Martins C; Novo C; Pinho M, Sousa B, Lopes A, Borrego M, Matos O. (2013). Cell phenotypic change due to Cryptosporidium parvum infection in immunocompetent mice. Acta Parasitol, 58(1):70-9. doi: 10.2478/s11686-013-0113-2
  • Simão I, Cordeiro A, Borrego LM, Martins C, Neves C, Farela Neves J. (2012). Monoclonal IgG Kappa Gammopathy previous to Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation in an Infant with Severe Combined Immunodeficiency. Clin Immunol, 145:133-135. doi: 10.1016/j.clim.2012.08.011
  • Borrego LM, Arroz M, Videira P, Guimarães H, Martins C, Marques G, Trindade H. (2009). Immunological profile and clinical risk factors for asthma in infants and young children with recurrent wheeze. Clin Exp Allergy, Aug;39(8):1160-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2222.2009.03253.x


  • Mota I, Borrego LM. Allergic responses to fungi. In Viegas C, Pinheiro AC, Sabino R, Viegas S, Brandão J, Verissimo C, eds. Environmental Mycology in Public Health. Elsevier 2015.
  • Managing Patients With Food Allergy In The Community. In Muraro A, et al. Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Guidelines. EACCI. 2014


• Hospital D. Estefânia – CHLC – Lisbon, Portugal
• Hospital CUF Descobertas – Lisbon, Portugal
• Hospital CUF Infante Santo – Lisbon, Portugal
• Instituto Português de Reumatologia – Lisbon, Portugal
• Unidade de Doenças Auto-imunes, Hospital Curry Cabral, CHLC – Lisbon, Portugal
• Hospital for Sick Children – London, UK.
• Department of Allergology – University of Hannover, Germany.
• Centre for Rheumatology Research, Department of Medicine, UCL – London, UK.
• Laboratoire CEDI, Hôpital Necker-Enfants Malades – Paris, France.
• Department of Medicine – University of Cambridge, UK.
• Hannover Medical School – Hannover, Germany.
• Center for Hematology and Regenerative Medicine, Department of Medicine, Karolinska Institutet – Huddinge, Sweden

Team photos

Motivated students (Undergraduate, Master and PhD) are encouraged to apply. Interested candidates, please send your CV, a letter explaining your interests and the name/contact information for 1-3 references to luis.borrego(at)

Ionela Toader
Ionela Toader, BSc

ricardo monteiro
Ricardo Monteiro, BSc