Research Group Virus Transmission

Research Group Virus Transmission

The research group "Virus Transmission" led by Prof. Eike Steinmann worked until March 2018 at the Institute of Experimental Virologie on molecular and clinical transmission pathways of hepatitis C virus (HCV) and hepatitis E virus (HEV), causing severe infections in humans.
HCV, a plus strand RNA virus, has chronically infected ca. 71 mio individuals and a vaccine is not available. In fact, chronic HCV infection is associated with about 30% of liver cancers worldwide and among the leading indications for orthotopic liver transplantation.
The hepatitis E virus (HEV) is responsible for epidemics and endemics of acute hepatitis mainly through waterborne, foodborne, and zoonotic transmission routes.
Eike Steinmann and his team developed new prevention strategies and therapies for these two RNA viruses. They focused on:

  • risks of virus transmission in the environment, especially in the hospital,
  • effective methods for virus inactivation,
  • the investigation of the relevance and utility of HCV-related viruses in horses as model for HCV transmission and pathogenesis.

Eike Steinmann and his team received numerous awards and grants for their scientific work at TWINCORE. Now Eike Steinmann further extends his research programme at the medical faculty of the Ruhr-Universität Bochum. He is head of the Department of Molecular & Medical Virology as a W3 Professor.

Selected publications

Intervention strategies against HEV

Knegendorf L, Drave SA, Dao Thi VL, Debing Y, Brown RJP, Vondran FWR, Resner K, Friesland M, Khera T, Engelmann M, Bremer B, Wedemeyer H, Behrendt P, Neyts J, Pietschmann T, Todt D, Steinmann E. Hepatitis E virus replication and interferon responses in human placental cells. Hepatol Commun. 2018 Jan 8;2(2):173-187

Weller R, Todt D, Engelmann M, Friesland M, Wedemeyer H, Pietschmann T, Steinmann E. Apolipoprotein E polymorphisms and their protective effect on hepatitis E virus replication. Hepatology. 2016 Dec;64(6):2274-2276.

Todt D, Walter S, Brown RJ, Steinmann E. Mutagenic effects of ribavirin on hepatitis E virus-viral extinction versus selection of fitness-enhancing mutations. Viruses 2016 Oct 13;8(10).

Behrendt P, Bremer B, Todt D, Brown RJ, Heim A, Manns MP, Steinmann E, Wedemeyer H. Hepatitis E Virus (HEV) ORF2 Antigen Levels Differentiate Between Acute and Chronic HEV Infection. J Infect Dis. 2016 Aug 1;214(3):361-8.

Todt D, Gisa A, Radonic A, Nitsche A, Behrendt P, Suneetha PV, Pischke S, Bremer B, Brown RJ, Manns MP, Cornberg M, Bock CT, Steinmann E*, Wedemeyer H*. In vivo evidence for ribavirin-induced mutagenesis of the hepatitis E virus genome. Gut. 2016 Oct;65(10):1733-43.

Drave SA, Debing Y, Walter S, Todt D, Engelmann M, Friesland M, Wedemeyer H, Neyts J, Behrendt P, Steinmann E. Extra-hepatic replication and infection of hepatitis E virus in neuronal-derived cells. J Viral Hepat. 2016 Jul;23(7):512-21.

Todt D, François C, Anggakusuma, Behrendt P, Engelmann M, Knegendorf L, Vieyres G, Wedemeyer H, Hartmann R, Pietschmann T, Duverlie G, Steinmann E. Antiviral Activities of Different Interferon Types and Subtypes against Hepatitis E Virus Replication. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2016 Mar 25;60(4):2132-9.

Behrendt P, Steinmann E, Manns MP, Wedemeyer H. The impact of hepatitis E in the liver transplant setting. J Hepatol. 2014 Dec;61(6):1418-29.

Transmission and prevention measures of HCV

Ciesek S, Friesland M, Steinmann J, Becker B, Wedemeyer H, Manns MP, Steinmann J, Pietschmann T, Steinmann E (2010) How stable is the hepatitis C virus (HCV)? Environmental stability of HCV and its susceptibility to chemical biocides. J Infect Dis 201(12): 1859-1866.

Steinmann J, Becker B, Bischoff B, Paulmann D, Friesland M, Pietschmann T, Steinmann J, Steinmann E (2010) Virucidal activity of 2 alcohol-based formulations proposed as hand rubs by the World Health Organization. Am J Infect Control 38(1): 66-68.

Steinmann J, Becker B, Bischoff B, Magulski T, Steinmann J, Steinmann E (2013) Virucidal activity of Formulation I of the World Health Organization's alcohol-based handrubs: impact of changes in key ingredient levels and test parameters. Antimicrob Resist Infect Control 2(1): 34.

Steinmann E, Ciesek S, Friesland M, Erichsen TJ, Pietschmann T (2011) Prolonged survival of hepatitis C virus in the anesthetic propofol. Clin Infect Dis 53(9): 963-964.

Behrendt P, Doerrbecker J, Riebesehl N, Wilhelm C, Ciesek S, Erichsen TJ, Steinmann J, Ott M, Manns MP, Pietschmann T, Steinmann E (2013) Stability and transmission of hepatitis C virus in different anesthetic agents. Am J Infect Control 41(10): 942-943.

Doerrbecker J, Friesland M, Ciesek S, Erichsen TJ, Mateu-Gelabert P, Steinmann J, Steinmann J, Pietschmann T, Steinmann E (2011) Inactivation and survival of hepatitis C virus on inanimate surfaces. J Infect Dis 204(12): 1830-1838.

Doerrbecker J, Behrendt P, Mateu-Gelabert P, Ciesek S, Riebesehl N, Wilhelm C, Steinmann J, Pietschmann T, Steinmann E (2013) Transmission of hepatitis C virus among people who inject drugs: viral stability and association with drug preparation equipment. J Infect Dis 207(2): 281-287.

Siddharta A, Pfaender S, Malassa A, Doerrbecker J, Anggakusuma, Engelmann M, Nugraha B, Steinmann J, Todt D, Vondran FW, Mateu-Gelabert P, Goffinet C, Steinmann E (2016) Inactivation of HCV and HIV by microwave: a novel approach for prevention of virus transmission among people who inject drugs. Sci Rep 6: 36619.

Highlights from Eike Steinmanns scientific work at TWINCORE

13. January 2020

First robust cell culture model for the hepatitis E virus

A mutation switches the turbo on during virus replication. This is a blessing for research.

17. May 2018

Doctoral awards of the HZI and MHH for Daniel Todt

Daniel Todt, scientist at the Research Group Virus Transmission at the Institute for Experimental Virology, received the Doctoral award of the Hannover Medical School for his research on the hepatitis E virus on May 8, 2018....

09. February 2018

New treatment approach for hepatitis E infections in pregnant women

Hepatitis E virus infections are usually subclinical and are considered as an underrated disease by physicians. The number of infections worldwide is estimated at 20 million infected people per year. In our latitudes, primarily...

09. March 2017

New perspectives for research on hepatitis C virus

The hepatitis C virus (HCV) infects around 160 million people worldwide. Although there are new therapies, HCV infection is still one of the most common causes of liver transplantation as these new drugs are very expensive and...

13. February 2017

WHO handrub formulations are effective against emerging viruses

In the last few years, previously unknown viruses or viruses, which were considered eliminated, have been unveiled: last year, the World Health Organization WHO declared “A Public Health Emergency of International Concern”...

28. November 2016

Hepatitis C and HIV prophylaxis from the microwave – A powerful kitchen tool reduces viral transmission in the drug injection community

Infections with hepatitis C virus (HCV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) among people who inject drugs (PWID) are a global health problem. For example, sharing of drug preparation equipment within this population...

30. May 2016

Virus suppressant works like a turbo for Hepatitis E viruses

Hepatitis E virus infections seem to be an underrated risk - probably because the course of desease is characterised by a mild progression. The Robert-Koch-Institute estimates, that there are 300.000 people infected with that...

31. August 2015

Neuer antiviraler Mechanismus gegen Hepatitis C-Viren entdeckt

Mit dem Hepatitis C-Virus sind weltweit etwa 160 Millionen Menschen infiziert. Die erste Infektion verläuft meist unbemerkt – das Virus weicht dem Immunsystem geschickt aus, löst kaum Krankheitszeichen aus und versteckt sich in...

27. August 2015

Bionorica Phytoneering Award 2015 for Eike Steinmann and Anggakusuma

On the 24th of August, Eike Steinmann and Anggakusuma from the Institute of Experimental Virology received the 10.000 € endowed “Bionorica Phytoneering Award 2015”. The award given biannually by the Society for Medicinal Plant...