Dr. Katarzyna Niespodziana
MedUni Wien RESEARCHER OF THE MONTH February 2019
PreDicta chip-based high resolution diagnosis of rhinovirus-induced wheeze
Allergens and infections by rhinovirus (RV), the cause of a common cold, are major factors triggering asthma attacks. Whether an asthma attack is really caused by a rhinovirus infection could not be firmly established so far because only nucleic-acid based strategies for virus detection have been available but no serological tests measuring rhinovirus-specific immune responses. In the current study we developed the “PreDicta” chip which contains a large collection of micro-arrayed peptides and proteins representing the currently known rhinovirus species and strains. We measured RV-specific antibody responses in serum samples of 120 children collected during an acute episode of wheeze and at follow-up visit after approximately 11 weeks. Our study shows that one can identify the culprit rhinovirus species in children with wheeze attacks by measuring strain-specific increases of antibodies with only a drop of blood. Thus, it seems that our data have the potential to revolutionize the way how RV-triggered severe respiratory illness will be diagnosed in the future. Furthermore, the chip will also be useful for global serological identification of RV species triggering severe respiratory illness and may ultimately pave the road towards RV-specific therapeutic and prophylactic strategies.
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