Hepatitis E virus diagnostic and sequencing
We are working closely together with clinicians to characterise HEV variants using next generation sequencing. This will allow us to:
1. establishing routine sequencing diagnostics for HEV.
2. Identification of HEV variants in acute and chronic infection.
3. Decision support tool which can guide treatment decision.
Our work on characterising treatment-associated variants in chronic HEV patients involves the identification of Ribavirin resistant mutants. We are currently establishing tools for highthorughput identification.
Evaluation of treatment success in chronically infected patients.
Recently, the hepatitis C virus polymerase inhibitor sofosbuvir was evaluated as a potential antiviral against HEV in vitro and in vivo. The most comprehensive investigation was a 24-week multicenter phase II pilot trial, were nine chronically HEV-infected patients were treated with sofosbuvir (Cornberg et al. 2020). HEV RNA transiently decreased by 2 log, but increased back to pre-treatment levels within 24 weeks of treatment onset.
In a follow up study, we aim to identify the reason for viral recurrence by characterizing changes in the viral population during treatment using amplicon deep sequencing.
Virologie Bochum: Prof. Dr. Eike Steinmann, Dr. Daniel Todt, Dr. André Gömer
Blutspende Dienst Bochum: Dr. Vollmer
Hannover: Prof. Dr. Heiner Wedemeyer, Dr. Patrick Behrendt