“Mutual interaction of chronic viruses with cells of the immune system: from fundamental research to
immunotherapy and vaccination”
Essen - Wuhan - Bochum - Shanghai
The TRR60 was funded from July 2009 and endet in June 2018. Our joint scientific work will be continued within the innovative network of the Sino-German Virtual Institute for Viral Immunology SGVIVI. More info: www.uni-due.de/sgvivi
The WHO estimates that almost 500 million people world-wide are chronically infected with HBV, HCV or HIV. The three viruses are transmitted similarly and vaccination against HIV and HCV has not been possible until now. Interestingly, there are substantial differences in the rate of viral persistence after infection with the three viruses. Therefore it is important to compare mechanisms of viral persistence between these viruses. All viruses have to evade the innate and the adaptive immune system to become chronic. The aim of the TRR60 was to intensively study these mechanism in cell culture, animal models, and patients.
In the last 8 years the TRR60 studied the interaction of the immune system with several different viruses that establish chronic infections in their hosts. These studies provided new concepts of immune regulation and dysregulation in chronic virus infections that can now be utilized for therapeutic approaches and vaccine development. The focus was on HIV, HCV, and HBV because therapeutic cure was rarely achieved for these chronic infections. Novel immunotherapy options, especially combination therapies, were tested in preclinical models of infectious diseases. Some of the possible new targets for immunotherapy were first described to play a role in infectious diseases by PIs of the TRR60. In order to test new tools for immunotherapy against chronic infections sophisticated animal models are needed. It has therefore always been a focus of the TRR60 to develop and improve animal models for chronic virus infections. Basic findings on immune regulation from animal models also need to be confirmed in patient studies, which is why we analysed patient samples from very defined large cohorts of HIV-, HCV, or HBV-infected individuals in almost all TRR60 projects. The overall aim of the TRR60 project was to develop novel immunotherapies or combination therapies to achieve improved control of chronic viral infections.
September 2015 Interactive app for understanding infectious diseases
The TRR60 has contibuted to the interactive tablet-app launched and offered by DFG free of charge:
MenschMikrobe – Die interaktive App zur Infektionsforschung
Eine faszinierende Tour durch die Welt der Mikroorganismen – für Experten, Laien und Schüler
more info: www.dfg.de/menschmikrobe or see the info-flyer