Epidemiology, pathogenesis and prevention
The infectious disease burden of immunocompromised (transplantation) patients is mainly caused by reduced host immunity against persistent or de novo infections with DNA-viruses. Our research is focused on elucidating pathogenic mechanisms and host-interactions of these viruses, identifying patients at risk, improving molecular and serological detection techniques and evaluating the usefulness of antiviral treatment. Altogether, we aim for improved control and prevention of these viral infections, and better health care for those hit.
The focus is specifically on human papillomaviruses (HPV), human polyomaviruses (HPyV), cytomegalovirus (CMV) and parvoviruses (B19) that cause various diseases in immunosuppressed patients (for example BKPyV-induced nephropathy in kidney transplantation patients) and in unborn babies (congenital CMV and B19 infection). For these infections we investigate the disease burden in selected populations, determine (the lack of) specific immunity and develop dedicated molecular and serological techniques, to assess patients at risk and predict infection outcome. For HPyV and CMV also specific molecular and immunological properties are studied, to explain the epidemiology and pathogenicity of these viruses and provide leads for new preventive strategies.
Research linesDiscovery, epidemiology, disease association and pathogenicity of human polyomaviruses and papillomaviruses) (Mariet Feltkamp)
Congenital infection (herpesvirus/parvovirus): Virus-host interaction, antiviral treatment, disease burden and prevention (Vossen)
Viruses currently studied
- Human polyomaviruses, including BKPyV, JCPyV, MCPyV and TSPyV
- Human betapapillomaviruses, including HPV5 and HPV8
- Human Herpesviruses, including HSV, CMV, VZV
- Parvovirus B19