During the past few years, unexpected developments have driven studies in the field of clinical immunology. One driver of immense impact was the outbreak of a pandemic caused by the novel virus SARS-CoV-2. Excellent recent reviews address diverse aspects of immunological re-search into cardiovascular diseases. Here, we specifically focus on selected studies taking advantage of advanced state-of-the-art molecular genetic methods ranging from genome-wide epi/transcriptome mapping and variant scanning to optogenetics and chemogenetics. First, we discuss the emerging clinical relevance of advanced diagnostics for cardiovascular diseases, including those associated with COVID-19-with a focus on the role of inflammation in cardiomyopathies and arrhythmias. Second, we consider newly identified immunological interactions at organ and system levels which affect cardiovascular pathogenesis. Thus, studies into immune influences arising from the intestinal system are moving towards therapeutic exploitation. Further, powerful new research tools have enabled novel insight into brain-immune system interactions at unprecedented resolution. This latter line of investigation emphasizes the strength of influence of emotional stress-acting through defined brain regions-upon viral and cardiovascular disorders. Several challenges need to be overcome before the full impact of these far-reaching new findings will hit the clinical arena.
Keywords: RNA interference; antisense therapeutics; cardiovascular diseases; gut microbiome; immunogenetics; immunology; innate immunity; neuroimmunology; noncoding genome.