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Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a major cause of chronic liver disease world-wide. Treatment options for chronic viral hepatitis are limited and a vaccine for prevention against HCV infection is not available. HCV-induced end-stage liver disease such as liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) represent a major challenge in global health. Using novel model systems for HCV-host interaction, we have previously defined cellular and viral structures mediating HCV-cell surface interaction and identified targets for antiviral immune responses. Aiming at the understanding of the pathogenesis of HCV infection in the HCV individual, the INSERM research unit will focus on the molecular analysis of HCV-host interaction. Innovative, state-of-the art approaches in molecular virology and biology, immunology, functional genomics and clinical hepatology are applied in three main projects to identify viral and host mechanisms mediating viral persistence and pathogenesis of HCV infection. These include the functional analysis of the first steps of viral infection (viral entry and molecular mechanisms of virus neutralization), the characterization of the virus-cellular protein interaction during viral replication and the study of the virus-host interaction in dendritic cells. The impact of these findings are studied in novel HCV cell culture and animal models and finally in the HCV-infected patient. In close collaboration with our three clinical partners at the Faculty of Medicine, Louis Pasteur University Strasbourg (Service d’ Hépato-Gastroentérologie, Service de Chirurgie Générale et de Transplantation and Laboratoire de Virologie du Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Strasbourg) our program is aiming at the identification of novel targets for preventive and therapeutic strategies against HCV infection and HCV-induced liver disease.


Institut de virologie - 3 rue Koeberlé
67000 Strasbourg
Field of Activity:
Research & Development
Research & Education
Number of employess: