Virus-Host Interactions of Polyoma and Papilloma Viruses

Infections and Cancer

About 20% of all cancer cases worldwide are associated with infections. The main etiologic agents are

  • Human Papillomaviruses (HPV), which are associated with cervical cancer, other anogenital cancers, and a subset of head and neck cancers
  • Helicobacter pylori (H.pylori), a bacterium that causes gastric cancer
  • the Hepatitis B and C viruses (HBV, HCV), which cause hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), which is associated with Hodgkin’s and Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and nasopharyngeal carcinoma
  • Human Herpesvirus 8 (HHV8), or Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV), causing Kaposi sarcoma

However, the number of cancer cases attributable to infections is most likely underestimated, and most of the infectious agents mentioned above may also cause other cancers, e.g. HPV and skin cancer, or H.pylori and other gastrointestinal cancers. Our aim is to investigate these less firmly established associations, and to discover novel markers based on serology or nucleic acid detection, e.g. for early disease detection, or as progression markers.

To this end, we have developed a high-throughput serological method (“Multiplex Serology”) based on Luminex technology. Multiplex serology allows us to analyze up to 2000 serum samples per day for antibodies to up to 100 different antigens simultaneously. We have successfully developed serological assays for more than 50 HPV types, 15 H.pylori proteins, HBV, HCV, Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), all human Polyomaviruses, several human Herpesviruses, and other infectious agents.
In addition, we have developed Luminex-based high-throughput nucleic acid detection methods for genotyping of >100 HPV genotypes (“Multiplex HPV Genotyping”), Bovine Papillomaviruses, all human Polyomaviruses, all human Herpesviruses, 12 Adeno-associated viruses (AAV) and other infectious agents.

We collaborate worldwide with many clinical and epidemiological partners to analyze large-scale seroepidemiological studies and cooperate with corporate partners to commercialize novel diagnostic biomarkers.

Core Facility “Contamination Control”

Since 2008, our group belonged to the Genomics and Proteomics Core Facility of the DKFZ. We were performing routine diagnostics for cell culture contaminations  and human cell line authentication  for the DKFZ. In 2012, the Multiplexion GmbH  was founded as a spin-off of this Core Facility, and is providing the above mentioned services also to researchers from other universities, institutes and industry.

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