16 projects

COVI-NUTRI-METABOLOMICS

Background: A poor nutrient status due to sub-optimal dietary habits increases risk of viral infections. In particular, individuals with low vitamin D, A and E, as well as zinc plasma levels are less likely to develop immune-responses against influenza vaccines. Vitamin C supplementation improves conditions in individuals with acute respiratory infections in some studies. Dietary fiber is inversely correlated with mortality from respiratory/infectious disease. These nutrients are paramount for optimal immune-response, are implicated in oxidative stress, inflammatory processes, and viral rep...

Covid-19 related LOckdown: Shift in Exposures to neighbourhood environments and changes in Physic...

A lockdown state implies radical changes in our lifestyle, especially physical activity (PA), while PA plays a central role in maintaining an adequate health status, counteracting the negative consequences of numerous diseases. We aim to investigate the impact of lockdown (and quarantine) on PA patterns based on retrospective data. We will analyse the intra-individual changes in PA patterns of participants stratified in two specific subgroups of interest, namely positive cases and their household members as a result of the lockdown/quarantine measures in place, with respect to the partici...

Leveraging Systems Biology to Target Hyperinflammation in COVID-19

The emergence of COVID-19 pandemic implies new challenges for the Health Systems worldwide. A small percentage of the patients require hospitalisation and specialised attention in Intensive Care Units (ICUs). Furthermore, accumulating evidence suggests that a subgroup of patients with severe COVID-19 might have a cytokine storm syndrome. Therefore, the main goal of the proposal is to elucidate the potential role of cytokine storm in COVID-19 disease severity, and to propose novel strategies for counteracting this hyperinflammatory response. In this context, we propose to develop a single...

Cytokines as biomarkers and therapeutic targets in COVID-19 infection

Cytokines play an important role in the pathogenesis of COVID-19 infection. A subgroup of patients develops a cytokine storm syndrome, correlating with a bad clinical outcome. For example, the concentration of the inflammatory cytokine Interleukin-6 (IL-6) has been recognized as a risk factor for mortality and for respiratory failure in Chinese and German patient cohorts, respectively. Tocilizumab, an antibody directed against the IL-6 receptor alpha chain, is used in clinical trials as well as an FDA-approved inhibitor of Jaks, tyrosine kinases which mediate the signal transduction of mult...

Predicting the disease severity by analyzing the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 quasispecies in in...

Viruses, particularly RNA viruses, possess a great capability to evolve and mutate in order to rapidly respond to host immune selection pressure. Consequently, they generate a population with a large number of variable but closely related genomes, also known as quasispecies in the host. Accurate characterization of low-frequency variants could provide invaluable aid in clinical decision making as demonstrated for many other single-strand RNA viruses. Understanding of the correlation of SARS-CoV-2 quasispecies complexity with the disease severity might help us to stratify COID-19 patients an...

Hormonal status as predictor of Covid-19 infection severity (HorCovIS)

Among people infected by COVID 19, significant disparities have been observed regarding the severity of the symptoms. Although some factors such as the presence of comorbidities have been pointed out, for another part of the patients the high severity of the symptoms remains unexplained. The HorCoVIS project aims at assessing how the hormonal status of the patients prior to infection, could be linked to symptoms severity and possibly used as a predictive tool of specific measures necessity in newly infected patients.

Rapid serological profiling of SARS-CoV-2 antibody response

Development of antibodies is the method by which we derive immunity to a pathogen. Tracking of the development of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) is important in our understanding of this pandemic and formation of an exit strategy. Antibodies can identify different parts or proteins of a pathogen known as antigens. Current tests do not distinguish which antigens antibodies have been developed against or the level of antibody production. Using protein arrays, printed at the LIH RPPA facility we will provide a more complete analysis of the antibody development.

Comparing the technical performances of three real-time PCR protocols to counteract the COVID-19 ...

The outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 infections has underlined the critical value of laboratory diagnosis in order to quickly identify infected-patients, to provide optimized care, and to limit COVID-19 transmission. Several real-time RT-PCR diagnostic assays were rapidly developped, in particular by pharmaceutical companies which were Conformité Européenne (CE) marked. Since all countries are currently facing reagent shortages that limit the testing capacity, several real-time PCR assays were established to counteract the COVID-19 outbreak by using different techniques and suppliers, such as in Lu...

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