Discovery, epidemiology, disease association and pathogenicity of HPyV and HPV
Description of research
Human papillomavirus (HPV) and polyomavirus (HPyV) infections pose a number of serious medical problems, especially in immunocompromised hosts. These include BKPyV-caused nephropathy of kidney transplantation patients, JCPyV-caused progressive multifocal encephalitis of MS patients treated with immunomodulatory drugs such as Natalizumab, and squamous carcinomas of the cervix and skin (HPV). Novel human polyomaviruses, such as TSPyV discovered by our team and MPyCV, cause dysplastic of neoplastic skin diseases, such as trichodysplasia spinulosa and Merkel-cell carcinoma. It is generally believed that there are more HPyVs around to be discovered, especially in immunocompromized hosts. Of most of the recently discovered HPyVs, for instance the New-Jersey polyomavirus, we are unaware of their prevalence and disease associations. Furthermore, their evolutionary spread, route of transmission and tissue tropism are not yet settled, as is true for some of the ‘old’ HPyVs as well. With the use of molecular and serological detection techniques we study the presence of novel and old HPyVs and HPVs in different tissues and (diseased) populations, including solid-organ transplantation patients and healthy blood donors. Furthermore, the expression and role of specific viral products, especially the T-antigens, in cell transformation is studied to identify new leads for HPyV-treatment.
- Epidemiology of human polyomaviruses and betapapillomaviruses
- Identification of new human polyomaviruses
- Prevention of BK polyomavirus-associated nephropathy after kidney transplantation
- Transforming properties of human polyomaviruses and betapapillomaviruses
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