Kamp C.,Paul Ehrlich Institute
PLoS Computational Biology | Year: 2010
The epidemic spread of infectious diseases is ubiquitous and often has a considerable impact on public health and economic wealth. The large variability in the spatio-temporal patterns of epidemics prohibits simple interventions and requires a detailed analysis of each epidemic with respect to its infectious agent and the corresponding routes of transmission. To facilitate this analysis, we introduce a mathematical framework which links epidemic patterns to the topology and dynamics of the underlying transmission network. The evolution, both in disease prevalence and transmission network topology, is derived from a closed set of partial differential equations for infections without allowing for recovery. The predictions are in excellent agreement with complementarily conducted agent-based simulations. The capacity of this new method is demonstrated in several case studies on HIV epidemics in synthetic populations: it allows us to monitor the evolution of contact behavior among healthy and infected individuals and the contributions of different disease stages to the spreading of the epidemic. This gives both direction to and a test bed for targeted intervention strategies for epidemic control. In conclusion, this mathematical framework provides a capable toolbox for the analysis of epidemics from first principles. This allows for fast, in silico modeling - and manipulation - of epidemics and is especially powerful if complemented with adequate empirical data for parameterization. © 2010 Christel Kamp.
Koch J.,Paul Ehrlich Institute |
Steinle A.,Goethe University Frankfurt |
Watzl C.,Leibniz Research Center for Working Environment and Human Factors o |
Mandelboim O.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Trends in Immunology | Year: 2013
Natural killer (NK) cells are central players in the vertebrate immune system that rapidly eliminate malignantly transformed or infected cells. The natural cytotoxicity receptors (NCRs) NKp30, NKp44, and NKp46 are important mediators of NK cell cytotoxicity, which trigger an immune response on recognition of cognate cellular and viral ligands. Tumour and viral immune escape strategies targeting these receptor-ligand systems impair NK cell cytotoxicity and promote disease. Therefore, a molecular understanding of the function of the NCRs in immunosurveillance is instrumental to discovering novel access points to combat infections and cancer. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
Denner J.,Robert Koch Institute |
Tonjes R.R.,Paul Ehrlich Institute
Clinical Microbiology Reviews | Year: 2012
Xenotransplantation may be a solution to overcome the shortage of organs for the treatment of patients with organ failure, but it may be associated with the transmission of porcine microorganisms and the development of xenozoonoses. Whereas most microorganisms may be eliminated by pathogen-free breeding of the donor animals, porcine endogenous retroviruses (PERVs) cannot be eliminated, since these are integrated into the genomes of all pigs. Human-tropic PERV-A and -B are present in all pigs and are able to infect human cells. Infection of ecotropic PERV-C is limited to pig cells. PERVs may adapt to host cells by varying the number of LTR-binding transcription factor binding sites. Like all retroviruses, they may induce tumors and/or immunodeficiencies. To date, all experimental, preclinical, and clinical xenotransplantations using pig cells, tissues, and organs have not shown transmission of PERV. Highly sensitive and specific methods have been developed to analyze the PERV status of donor pigs and to monitor recipients for PERV infection. Strategies have been developed to prevent PERV transmission, including selection of PERV-C-negative, low-producer pigs, generation of an effective vaccine, selection of effective antiretrovirals, and generation of animals transgenic for a PERV-specific short hairpin RNA inhibiting PERV expression by RNA interference. © 2012, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
Greten F.R.,Paul Ehrlich Institute
Cell | Year: 2014
It is of great therapeutic importance to understand why tumors relapse after the failure of therapies targeting oncogenes to which cancer cells are addicted. In this issue, Kapoor et al. and Shao et al. identify the transcriptional coactivator YAP1 as a central driver of compensation for the loss of K-Ras signaling in K-Ras-dependent cancers. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.
Abel T.,Paul Ehrlich Institute
Blood | Year: 2013
Different types of endothelial cells (EC) fulfill distinct tasks depending on their microenvironment. ECs are therefore difficult to genetically manipulate ex vivo for functional studies or gene therapy. We assessed lentiviral vectors (LVs) targeted to the EC surface marker CD105 for in vivo gene delivery. The mouse CD105-specific vector, mCD105-LV, transduced only CD105-positive cells in primary liver cell cultures. Upon systemic injection, strong reporter gene expression was detected in liver where mCD105-LV specifically transduced liver sinusoidal ECs (LSECs) but not Kupffer cells, which were mainly transduced by nontargeted LVs. Tumor ECs were specifically targeted upon intratumoral vector injection. Delivery of the erythropoietin gene with mCD105-LV resulted in substantially increased erythropoietin and hematocrit levels. The human CD105-specific vector (huCD105-LV) transduced exclusively human LSECs in mice transplanted with human liver ECs. Interestingly, when applied at higher dose and in absence of target cells in the liver, huCD105-LV transduced ECs of a human artery transplanted into the descending mouse aorta. The data demonstrate for the first time targeted gene delivery to specialized ECs upon systemic vector administration. This strategy offers novel options to better understand the physiological functions of ECs and to treat genetic diseases such as those affecting blood factors.
Allwinn R.,Paul Ehrlich Institute
Medical Microbiology and Immunology | Year: 2011
Increasing numbers of dengue fever (DF) cases reflect the increasing travel mobility together with the expanding geographical distribution of the vector Aedes aegypti. Compared with earlier surveys in Germany, higher incidences occur and correlate well with ongoing outbreaks. Therefore, we investigated 767 serum samples from 594 returning travellers with suspected DF between 2005 and 2010, which where sent from different hospitals in the drainage area Frankfurt/Main. Established diagnostic assays were ELISA, immunofluorescence and chromatographic tests. We obtained 112 dengue-seropositive serum samples from totally 60 patients: the detection rate was 10.1% (60 out of 594). A significant increase was found in 2010. Most patients were aged between 40 and 49, and indirect immunofluorescence technique indicated mainly DF serotype 2. Actual data reveal a significant rise in imported DF cases in 2010 according to an increasing risk to acquire DF virus infection. Nevertheless, dengue haemorrhagic fever and dengue shock syndrome are still rare in travellers, but those with a history of dengue should be tested for DF serotypes and advised to protect themselves well from mosquitoes when travelling to endemic areas. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.
Paul Ehrlich Institute | Date: 2011-09-14
Described are a method of screening for an agent capable of inhibiting protease HtrA which is useful in the prophylaxis or treatment of a bacterial infection, e.g., a Helicobacter pyloris infection as well as HtrA inhibitors and their uses.
Paul Ehrlich Institute | Date: 2012-01-16
The invention relates to a method for identifying stabilizing amino acids in single chain antibody fragments.
Paul Ehrlich Institute | Date: 2013-01-10
The inventors developed novel pseudotyped lentiviral vector particles comprising a morbillivirus fusion (F) protein and a mutated hemagglutinin (H) protein of the measles virus (MeV) or the Edmonton strain of the measles virus (MeV_(Edm)), wherein the cytoplasmic portions of the F and the H protein are truncated, and wherein the amino acids necessary for receptor recognition in the H protein are mutated that it does not interact with CD46, SLAM and/or nectin-4 and further has a single chain antibody to a cell surface marker of hESCs and iPSCs at its ectodomain. In this invention, the single chain variable fragment (scFv) anti-cell surface marker coding sequence of the single chain antibody is fused to the coding sequence at the ectodomain of the H protein, wherein the single chain antibody is selected from the group consisting of CD30, EpCAM (CD326), CD9, Thy-1 (CD90), SSEA-3, SSEA-4, TRA-1-60 or TRA-1-81. The transduction according to the present invention does not interfere with the pluripotency, i.e. present transduced hESCs and iPSCs remain undifferentiated, i.e. are able differentiate into all germ layer lineages.
Paul Ehrlich Institute | Date: 2012-03-05
The invention relates to recombinant oncolytic viruses that target tumor stem cells and various uses of these recombinant viruses. In particular, an oncolytic virus comprising a recombinant binding domain specific for a tumor stem cell marker is disclosed. Furthermore, the use of such oncolytic viruses for the treatment of cancer is disclosed.