Featuring in spotlight talk at Boston Conference in July
Many viruses are potent pathogens and it is important to diagnose these infections accurately and address them adequately. Researchers at the IKMB have developed a tool to help identify a dangerous category of viral infections: Viruses that integrate their genomic code into the host genome of the patient, leading to the production of pathogenic proteins even after the virus infection has been controlled. This category includes HIV (AIDS), HPV (many different cancers), and HBV (liver cancer and other cancers). Modern medicine also uses viruses as a vector for the immunotherapy of various diseases, and it is crucial to monitor that these vectors are safe.
The detection of virus integrations into the patient's genome can be compared with finding a few sand grains of amber in a beach volleyball field of normal sand grains: Huge data masses and a lot of false findings. Michael Forster, Silke Szymczak and colleagues in Andre Franke's team therefore developed a method which they hope will soon find its way into clinical use. This relies on Next-Generation sequencing which is routinely performed at the IKMB, and their new Vy-PER software which can be freely downloaded from www.ikmb.uni-kiel.de/vy-per. The Vy-PER virus detection method will be presented to other scientists from throughout the world in a spotlight talk at the annual HiTSeq conference in Boston, USA (11-12 July 2014).
Doctors interested in finding out more about Next-Generation sequencing are welcome to contact Michael Forster.