Stopping the spread of undetected pathogens

Prompted by evidence which shows that some viral infections remain undetected in healthy individuals, this project is helping improve the quality of diagnoses, in turn preventing potentially serious complications down the track.

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Projects such as this are helping the EU to become a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy by 2020, as set out in the EU 2020 growth strategy. The EU is facing some tough challenges, including an ageing population, an insufficiently qualified workforce, the need for greater innovation, striking a balance between economic growth and environmental degradation, and ensuring secure, clean energy supplies. Regional policy projects across the EU are playing an active role in dealing with these and many other challenges, by undertaking projects designed to generate employment, raise educational achievement, develop renewable energy sources, boost productivity and give all citizens access to opportunities. The projects and the regions play a pivotal role in this, as they generate real results that contribute to achieving the strategy’s key goals.

Just one year following the project launch, the research team has already moved from phase 1, covering bioinformatics analysis, to phase 2, preparing positive and negative controls.

Invisible danger poses real threat

In June 2010, in cooperation with the Institute of Virology of the Slovak Academy of Sciences (SAS), BioScience Slovakia embarked upon the research project ‘Industrial research in the clinical diagnosis of infectious pathogens’, co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

The trigger for the project can be put down to scientific evidence which indicates that several viral infections remain undetected in healthy individuals. The problem revolves around the fact that in the event of immuno-suppression (perhaps due to disease, an organ transplant, a certain type of therapy or side-effects of treatment), such pathogens can manifest themselves and result in deterioration in health, serious complications, and even death.

Sharper diagnosis

This project is looking to significantly improve the diagnoses of these infectious pathogens, which is currently not carried out efficiently enough, by applying different methods and formats for each pathogen. To simplify, accelerate and increase the sensitivity of diagnostics, a comprehensive approach with a unified format suitable for routine diagnostics is needed, using the latest knowledge of molecular biology. The goal is to bring this new format of assays into routine clinical use, at the same time establishing a common research basis between academia and private industry.

With the bioinformatics analysis phase of the project already under their belt, researchers are now turning their attention to preparing negative and positive controls with the aim of optimising pathogen detection conditions. The project is scheduled for completion in May 2013.

Draft date