The world-class standard of medical care in Austria means that many patients are now surviving in areas where previously treatments did not exist or were not widely available. This is thanks in no small part to developments in intensive care and transplantation. But one consequence, in particular of the advances in transplantation, has been a steep rise in the number of immune-deficient patients with a considerably increased risk of otherwise harmless infectious diseases, such as infections with adenoviruses. These types of infections can prove fatal for people in this patient group. While bacterial infections can for the most part be effectively controlled using antibiotics, treatment options for viral infections are unsatisfactory, and the persistently high mortality rate is clear evidence of the need for action in this area. It is no longer the original illnesses that are responsible for the death of immune-deficient patients, but rather the infections described above. We must therefore accelerate development in this area and find ways to identify new drug targets.
The aim of this research project is the systematic and scientific development of potential drug targets in the setting of infections in immune-deficient patients. The analysis of data obtained from in vitro models will afford new insights into the interplay between adenoviruses and human cells, which could lay the groundwork for further studies and the development of more effective therapies.
The project is funded by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency under the sixth call for the “Aufbau” line of the COIN.