Research - Hepatitis
Prof. Costin Cernescu conducted surveys on viral hepatitis and associated risk behaviors in children from Romanian orphanages and in Romanian prisons, studies on the efficiency of the universal anti HBV immunization programme and introduced the molecular assays for monitoring the natural and under treatment evolution of parenterally acquired viral hepatitis.
Present research directions developed by IVN in these fields are focusing on :
- serosurveillance studies for HBV, HCV and HDV in the general population and in selected risk groups directed to the identification of virus transmission routes and infection sources
- evaluation of HBV and HCV genotypes/viral isolates circulating in Romania
- assessing the the impact of genetical diversity on the performance of diagnostic tests used in clinical laboratories and developing methods that allow identification and characterization of new HCV subtypes/isolates and recombinants strains with high pathogenity risk
- investigation of the natural history of HBV and HCV coinfections in HIV infected children
The most recent project is developed in collaboration with Cantacuzino Institute, Victor Babes Hospital, UMF Carol Davila and DSP Timisoara- 2006-2008 CEEX project 158/2006 - Molecular mechanisms involved in the development of diagnostic systems and therapy of HCV infection. As HCV variability appears to alter the performance of the current serological HCV diagnostic tests the project is focusing on the molecular characterization (mutations, recombination, overlapping ORF) of HCV viral strains from Romania; as well as on the development, optimization and validation of diagnostic assays (ELISA) based on detection of the new protein , core+1, as a diagnostic and/or prognostic marker value. The expected results include:
- the set up of a well-characterized sera databank,
- definition of a diagnostic algorithm to be used by all partners;
- evaluation of diversity (mutation, recombination, new viral isolates) from Romania and tracking down some infection sources and their transmission routes;
- molecular analyses of regions responsible for undetermined results by serological assays;
- extended genomic analyses of strains that causes undetermined results by ELISA and WB;
- improvement of PCR sensibility in core region in order to develop a better diagnostic system and comparing with sensibility of the viral load detection.