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Identification of host-virus interactions contributing to immunopathology and disease severity in respiratory syncytial virus infections in children.

Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is worldwide the leading cause of serious airway infections. It's so common that most children will be infected by age 2. In adults and older children, RSV symptoms are mostly mild and typically mimic a common cold, but younger children can develop very severe disease. Preventive and therapeutic options are limited and currently it is not clear why some children develop severe disease while others do not. We therefore aim to investigate host- and virus-related factors that influence disease severity. To reach this objective, we will isolate RSV from children with respiratory disease, characterize the isolates and objectify differences between them. Next, we will investigate the effect of different virus isolates on the immunological response induced by a human respiratory epithelial cell line, since epithelial cells are the primary target cells and are implicated in the pathogenic reaction upon RSV infection. Lastly we want to evaluate whether the same clinical isolate induces a different immunological response in respiratory epithelial cells isolated from different patients. We will thus not only gain fundamental insights in the causes of RSV induced disease, but we will finally also correlate the virus- and host-related risk factors identified in the lab with clinical symptoms observed in patients. With this project we aim to identify patients prone to severe disease in an early stage, thus improving therapeutic options and disease outcome.
Date:1 Nov 2019  →  Today
Disciplines:Infectious diseases, Virology, Pediatrics
Project type:Collaboration project