Clinical virology ; Coronavirus; Encephalitis; Herpesviridae
Our research focus is to understand the development of neurological long-term sequelae after acute or chronic viral infections. A main research interest lies in the association between herpesvirus infections and the development of neurological complications. Furthermore, we currently focus on investigating the pathogenesis of Long COVID and associated neurological symptoms.
With the aim of assessing the interplay between viruses and the human host, we analyse host-specific factors (genetic predispositions for the development of neurological disease, individual innate and adaptive antiviral immune responses) as well as virus characteristics (viral peptide analysis, strain-specific differences). Our analysis of virus-specific immune responses focusses on natural killer (NK) cells, which play a major role in the antiviral defense.
Techniques, methods & infrastructure
For the analysis of immunological mechanisms underlying the development of neurological disease upon viral infection, humoral and NK cell responses are determined via multiple methods (ELISA, immunoblots, neutralization tests, avidity; functional NK cell assays). Analysis of host genetic factors is performed via sequencing methods (TaqMan, Sanger). Virus-specific risk factors are evaluated by peptide analysis and replication dynamics (PCR).
- Rohrhofer, J. et al. (2022) ‘Association between Epstein-Barr-Virus reactivation and development of Long‐COVID fatigue’, Allergy. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/all.15471.
- Graninger, M. et al. (2022) ‘The First Case of Usutu Virus Neuroinvasive Disease in Austria, 2021’, Open Forum Infectious Diseases, 9(7). Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ofid/ofac255.