Research Group Biomarkers for Infectious Diseases

Research Group Biomarkers for Infectious Diseases

We aim to identify more accurate diagnostic, prognostic and predictive host biomarkers for infectious diseases and the vaccine response. The clinical aims of the group are to help select the most effective, individualized treatment as early as possible, aiming to streamline the use of anti-infectives (“antibiotic stewardship”) and to improve clinical outcome. In addition, we try to identify individuals that are at high risk of a non-response to a given vaccination and individual risk factors for an insufficient vaccine response. These individuals could benefit from alternative vaccination strategies, for example higher doses, more frequent applications, adjuvanted vaccines or next-generation vaccines.

Our projects are integrated into the Centre for Individualised Medicine (CIIM) and we collaborate closely with MHH clinicians and the Clinical Research Centre (CRC) Hannover Core Facility and Biobank. Through these collaborations, we have access to biosamples such as peripheral blood cells, plasma, or cerebrospinal fluid from patients and the respective healthy controls and disease controls (disease with similar symptoms but different etiology). Our approach to biomarker discovery is based on unbiased (“hypothesis free”) profiling of biosamples, in particular using mass spectrometry and RNA sequencing. We also investigate potential roles in pathogenesis of the most promising biomarkers, as they or the associated metabolic pathways may constitute –in addition to the pathogens- therapeutic targets for adjuvant therapies. Molecules whose concentrations are decreased in patients could potentially even be used as therapeutics (e.g., the research project below on influenza vaccination).



Cell protection, immunomodulation and virus inhibition by an endogenous substance

Previously unknown effects of citraconic acid described

Antiviral and anti-inflammatory

Double effect of the body's own signalling molecule itaconic acid described

Genetic defect leads to skin damage

International research team discovers role of ISG15 in skin integrity

Research projects on SARS-CoV-2 at TWINCORE

Activities concerning novel coronavirus have begun

How the body produces an endogenous antibiotic with anti-inflammatory effects

HZI and TWINCORE researchers give insights into itaconic acid synthesis For a long time, itaconic acid was only known as a metabolic product of…