Organ transplant recipients are initially at great risk of contracting viral infections. Epstein-Barr virus and cytomegalovirus infections are particularly problematic for organ transplant patients. Organ rejection can only be prevented by downregulating the immune system which consequently, facilitates the infection of organ transplant patients with these viruses. The Epstein-Barr virus causes glandular fever and also plays a role in the development of cancer. Preventive and therapeutic vaccines present valued options for avoiding these complications.
New Vaccine Candidates
Scientists at the DZIF develop new vaccine candidates to prevent viruses from replicating in immunocompromised patients. For example, a vaccine against the Epstein-Barr virus based on virus-like particles was developed. In another project, scientists are investigating neutralising antibodies against EBV and cytomegaloviruses.