Enhancing treatment of Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection
An international team, led by Vince Emery, Senior Vice-President (Global Strategy and Engagement) and Professor of Translational Virology at the University of Surrey, have developed a model that will provide vital insight into how best to help patients with Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection, particularly those who have undergone organ transplantation.
The mainstay of therapy for CMV, a disease which can become serious and life-threatening if the patient’s immune system is not fully functioning, has been an antiviral drug called Ganciclovir. In this study, the researchers used information from a large clinical trial of Ganciclovir for the treatment of CMV disease in patients who had undergone solid organ transplantation, to assess the patterns of viral responses seen following therapy.
Identifying four unique patterns of response, the team have developed a sophisticated model that can accurately account for post-therapy virus decline patterns, making it possible to predict the likely duration of therapy needed for a patient with CMV infection to clear the virus.
Professor Emery said: “I am very proud to have led this vital research, as it will improve the health and quality of life of patients with CMV infection. It’s vital to understand how the virus reproduces itself in the human system and how we can control it with antiviral therapy, so we can manage CMV appropriately and ensure its effects can be minimised or completely prevented.”
These results could have striking implications for assessing how different patients respond to CMV treatment in clinical settings and developing new forms of personalised medicine.