Projects Infectious Disease Epidemiology
Differential Serology hepatitis B
Differences in structure, modification and availability of antigens are fundamental driver to distinguish immune responses induced either by infection of a wild type virus or vaccine-induced immune responses. The plausibility of this basic assumption has been verified in the successfully development of a differential serology in case of hepatitis A. We are collaborating with Joop van der Heuvel (HZI) and Ulrich Kalinke (TWINCORE) to evaluate the discriminatory power of three structurally different antigens comprising a virus like particle , a single hepatitis B surface protein (representing the vaccine) and inactivated virus. The group of antigens will be tested on an already established set of reference sera.
Differential serology hepatitis E
Here, we developed a serological multiplex assay that allows the differentiation of HepE-IgG-positive from HepE-IgG-negative serum samples. As a next step, we are projecting to extend the test sample repertoire to include serum samples from vaccinated individuals. The aim here is initially the establishment of a differential serology to verify vaccination efficacy. The latter is necessary to develop a complete hepatitis panel to investigate the full spectrum of vaccine-preventable viral hepatitides on population level eventually.
Novel biosampling approaches
We develop and evaluate devices for self-sampling of study participants that aim to be non-invasive, cost-effective, simple to use, easy to ship, and safe. These are based on novel or tailored preservation and stabilisation methods accompanied by user-friendliness as development focus. The collection methods are being developed from the initial idea to an applicable concept in collaboration with experts from various disciplines of natural and engineering sciences.