Project Image:
Title of the project:
Spontaneous clearance in patients acutely infected with HCV: immune profiling, novel biomarkers and x-omics approaches
Project leader:
Dr. Nicole Schneiderhan-Marra
Project funding:
  • Europäische Union
Project management:
  • FP7-Health
Funding reference number:

The proposed project aims to identify novel biomarkers and provide new insight into the mechanisms of spontaneous clearance of hepatitis C virus (HCV) during the early stages of acute infection. Indeed hepatitis C is a major public health problem with high incidence in regions such as Egypt and other Mediterranean Partner Countries (MPCs). Our current application follows from an FP5 project entitled "Promoting Healthy Societies: research in support of regional infectious disease surveillance," which permitted development of a cohort of patients with acute symptomatic HCV. Herein, we propose to build on this program for biochemical, immunologic and gene polymorphism assessment of patients with an enriched Consortium of European, Egyptian and Tunisian academic institutions and one European SME. Our multi-national, inter-disciplinary Consortium is in a strong position to establish an in-depth understanding of spontaneous viral clearance and provide needed information that will impact patient management and the design of candidate vaccines for HCV genotype 4. Specifically, we aim to use "-omics" or hypothesis-generating approaches to perform: (i) multi-analyte profiling of plasma analytes; (ii) characterization of HCV-specific cellular immune responses during the clearance phase; and (iii) assessment of genetic and epigenetic variations that predict viral clearance. Together, this will provide a framework for understanding the host response to acute HCV. In addition, we aim to establish a cooperative training program to enhance Clinical Epidemiology and Biomarker Discovery in the MPCs.

Project partners:
  • ASU-FM Ain Shams University - Faculty of Medicine, Ägypten
  • EDI Experimentelle & Diagnostische Immunologie GmbH, Deutschland
  • FAC Fondazione Andrea Cesalpino, Rom, Italien
  • INSERM Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale France, Frankreich
  • IP Institut Pasteur, Paris, Frankreich
  • IPT Institut Pasteur de Tunis; Tunesien
  • LDRU Liver Disease Research Unit, Ägypten
  • MOH Fever Hospitals Administration - Ministry of Health, Ägypten
  • NKI Stichting Het Nederlands Kanker Instituut Holland, Niederlande