Un programme de recherche translationnelle sur l'immunologie et la pathogenèse du virus de l'hépatite C

 

Naglaa Shoukry

Centre de recherche du CHUM

 

Domaine : maladies infectieuses et immunitaires

Programme chercheurs-boursiers - Senior

Concours 2014-2015

Chronic hepatitis C virus infection is a major cause of liver disease and liver cancer.  We still do not understand how a small fraction (~ 25%) of humans exposed to the virus can get rid of it while the rest cannot. Despite the development of new medications to treat hepatitis C, it will continue to be a major medical problem as many of these infected individuals are not eligible for treatment or cannot access it easily. In the meantime, they continue to be a source of infection and transmit the virus to others.  Hence, there is an urgent need for a vaccine against this virus that can protect individuals from new infections. This requires better understanding of the factors that allow the lucky 25% to get rid of the virus.

The goal of this patient-oriented research program is to understand these factors by different approaches.  First, to understand the genetic factors that differ from one person to another and influence the capacity of the immune system to eliminate the virus. Second, to understand how the different arms of the immune system that act either early or late cooperate together to get rid of the virus. Third, to understand how individuals who get rid of this virus once can be protected against it if they are accidently exposed to it a second time. Understanding these factors will help us to develop vaccines or treatments that can boost the immune system and protect against hepatitis C.