R&D in serology
Confronting research interests and clinical needs may generate a rather disparate research topic portfolio.
- Caring for immunocompromised hosts remains an important topic, in particular in the frame of the Swiss Transplant Cohort Study, of which Pascal Meylan is the chair of the lab group in charge of managing STCS biobank samples.
- A diagnostic need in the frame of transplantation is the diagnosis of latent HHV-8 infection (Kaposi sarcoma Herpes virus, KSHV) in low prevalence populations, as for instance organ donor and recipient populations in most of the developed world. We have initiated a project of a systematic analysis of antibody responses against all HHV-8 gene products using a library of expression vectors of all HHV-8 open reading frames, in collaboration with the group of Pr. S. Kunz.
- Lyme disease, in particular of the nervous system (neuroborreliosis), is a diagnostic and therapeutic challenge for multiple reasons: this infection is difficult to demonstrate by direct diagnosis approaches. Serological methods (indirect diagnostic) are confounded by shared antigenic determinants with other bacteria, by the high bona fide high seroprevalence (about 10%) in healthy local population. Finally, Lyme disease nowadays appears as a diagnostic waste basket for all sorts of ills without other explanation. This state of affairs makes highly desirable improved (i) validation of existing and newly developed diagnostic tests, (ii) standardization of patient care and (iii) information aimed at healthcare workers and patient population. To these ends, investigators wish to set up a registry of patients with PCR proven neuroborreliosis, along with control groups, in the frame of the upcoming National Research Program on tick-transmitted diseases.