Welcome to the Department for Molecular & Medical Virology

We are an international team of scientist, veterinarians, physicians and technical staff led by Prof. Dr. Eike Steinmann. We use cutting-edge technologies to investigate molecular and medical aspects of the hepatitis E virus, hepaciviruses and of virus transmission.

The Department for Molecular & Medical Virology led by Prof. Steinmann is part of the medical faculty at Ruhr University Bochum since April 2018. We participate in the virological training of medical and science students with lectures, seminars and practical courses.

All information about our current work with SARS-CoV-2 can be found here


News

+++ Who wants to play? - Virus–Host Cell Interplay during HEV Infection +++

TIMI

Our latest review article has just been published in Trends in Microbiology. We discuss the interaction between the hepatitis E virus (HEV) and host cells. HEV uses its own proteins such as the PCP protease to trigger the host cells' immune response. Understanding these interactions offers great potential to identify new strategies for future therapies.

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+++ OPEN POSITIONS +++

Stellenwerk

We currently have several open positions to be filled.
We are looking forward to applications, all relevant information can be found here.

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+++ Hepatitis E Virus cell culture system +++

HCV infection constitutes a global health problem with 71 million people currently chronically infected. Our new study identifies C19orf66 as an Interferon-inducible restriction factor with a novel antiviral mechanism that specifically targets HCV replication. In particular we found that C19orf66 alters the morphology of the viral replication organelle designated membranous web and thereby targets viral RNA replication.

For more information click here

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+++ Novel HCV restriction factor +++

C19 graphical abstract

HCV infection constitutes a global health problem with 71 million people currently chronically infected. Our new study identifies C19orf66 as an Interferon-inducible restriction factor with a novel antiviral mechanism that specifically targets HCV replication. In particular we found that C19orf66 alters the morphology of the viral replication organelle designated membranous web and thereby targets viral RNA replication.

For more information click here

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ARCHIVE

+++ Novel HEV cell culture system +++

The lack of an efficient cell culture system has severely limited investigation of the HEV life cycle and the development of effective antivirals. We established a new culture system that allows for the first time to produce high titers of infectious HEV particles. Our improved system could further be successfully used during various infection studies of liver-humanized mice, primary human and swine hepatocytes.

The article is open access and can be downloaded here.

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+++ Medical Award of the Sophia & Fritz Heinemann Foundation +++

Daniel from our laboratory was awarded the Medical Award of the Sophia & Fritz Heinemann Foundation for his outstanding translational work in the field of hepatitis E at this year's FoRUM conference.

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+++ new paper out +++

A novel Equine parvovirus-hepatitis (EqPV-H) has been recently identified in association with equine serum hepatitis in horses. In our new study we examined the serum of 392 horses for the presence of anti-EqPV-H antibodies and DNA to identify potential risk factors for virus infection.

The article is open access.

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+++ New colleagues +++

Two new colleagues joined our team. Welcome aboard Elena and André! If you want to find out more about our newbies check out the "Current staff".

We wish them all the best for their future work in the lab!

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+++ High stability of the hepatitis B virus +++

Worldwide, approx. 290 million people are chronically infected with the hepatitis B virus (HBV). Current guidelines recommend high temperatures for the decontamination of reusable medical equipment to prevent transmission of pathogens like HBV. Together with our partners at the Institut Pasteur Korea we investigated the HBV´s susceptibility to incubation at high temperatures. We find that unlike other viruses, HBV shows a high level of heat tolerance and thus requires prolonged incubation at high temperatures for full inactivation.

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+++ New Paper +++

Most immunocompromised patients are not able to clear an HEV infection but develop a chronic course of infection. Lymphomas are inherent immunosuppressive diseases and chemotherapy can further exacerbate the immunosuppressive status of lymphoma patients. We observed the occurrence of chronic HEV after treatment with the BTK inhibitor ibrutinib in a patient with lymphoma and further investigated the influence of BTK signaling and ibrutinib treatment in the HEV replication cycle in vitro.

The article is open access.

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+++ New Paper +++

Keratin proteins (KRT) can form large filaments, which provide structural support for many tissues. In our new paper we find that KRT23 also acts as a virus-induced host-factor supporting the live cycle of the hepatitis C virus.

The article is open access.

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+++ New review article online +++

Our new review about Hepatitis E Virus (HEV) drug development just went online. We give an overview of the current status of HEV antiviral research and discuss novel strategies to target HEV.

The article is open access.

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+++ new paper out +++

A novel Equine parvovirus-hepatitis (EqPV-H) has been recently identified in association with equine serum hepatitis in horses. In our new paper we find that EqPV-H can be frequently detected in commercially available equine serum-based products.

The article is open access.

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+++ New project SILVIR +++

Unlike many other viruses, there are no specific drugs and/or vaccine against hepatitis E. Recently, we were able to show that the natural product Silvestrol is a promising candidate for the treatment of HEV. In our new BMBF-project "SILVIR" we want to produce new Silvestrol variants to develop new HEV inhibitors.

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+++ New diagnostics service started +++

We started our new diagnostic service for equine parvovirus and hepacivirus. For more information please see "Diagnostics".

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+++ New colleague in the lab +++

Yannick is our new science and lab manager.
Welcome to our department Yannick !!
We hope you have a good start !!


You can find more informationen about Yannick under "current staff"

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+++ New joint project funded +++

The German Federal Ministry for Health is funding a new joint project between Robert-Koch-Institute, Charité Berlin, Universitity hospital Essen, Federal Institute for Risk Assessment and Molecular & Medical Virology Bochum. It aims to collect data on Hepatitis E to better understand the virus.

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+++ MMV goes YouTube +++

Daniel's talk he gave at the ICPerMed Conference of the International Consortium for Personalized Medicine (ICPerMed) is available at YouTube now!
If you want to cast a glance at our Hepatitis E Virus research and how the virus evolves in patients under treatment and wonder what all this has to do with personalized medicine.

Enjoy watching!

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+++ New review article online +++

Our new review article just went online at Antiviral Research. In the article we summarized all published hepatitis E virus cell culture systems. We think it presents a good entry point for all newbees in HEV research, but also a condensed description of all relevant information for everybody in the field and beyond.

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+++ ICPerMed Best Practice Award +++

Daniel from our lab today received the Best Practice Award awarded by the International Consortium for Personalized Medicine (ICPerMed) in Berlin. A nice recognition of his work and an important endorsement for our lab's focus on individualized infection medicine.
The conference was supported by the European Commission, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the German Federal Ministry of Health (BMG).

Check out the official press release of the RUB.

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+++ new colleagues started in our group +++

From Monday on, our lab crew is expanded by four new colleagues!
We are very happy to welcome Dimas, Michael, Volker and Thomas to Bochum!
If you want to find out more about our newbies check out the "current staff".

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+++ Interview for German radiostation +++

Daniel, one of our PostDocs was interviewed for radioshow that was broadcasted on German radio "Deutschlandfunk". It was about our recent publication in Antiviral Research on the antiviral natural compound silvestrol.
We are very happy about this positive feedback.

Unfortunately, only available in German but you can still check it out.

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+++ new review article +++

Check out our newest review article on viral mechanisms of nonresponse in Hepatitis E virus therapy published in Current Opinion in Virology.
We summarized how viral genome alterations may confer resistance in chronically HEV-infected patients that experience Ribavirin treatment failure.
This is one of our top expertise in the lab.

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+++ new paper out +++

Our newest paper on environmental stability of hepatitis B virus and the requirements for chemical biocides to inactivate the virus published in The Journal of Infectious Diseases is now available online. This work arose from a close collaboration with our partners at Institut Pasteur Korea.

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+++ new twitter account set up +++

We just set up our new twitter account!
You can follow us and stay up-to-date with virology in Bochum!

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+++ new paper out +++

Check out our recent publication in Antiviral Research on the antiviral natural compound silvestrol by Nora and Daniel from our team! We are delighted and say congratulations, Nora and Daniel!

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+++ young scientist award +++

Daniel from our team won the Young Scientist Award of the FOUNDATION DIAGNOSTIK HILFT! We are delighted and say congratulations, Daniel!

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Prof. Dr. Eike Steinmann

Prof. Dr. Eike Steinmann
Head of the Department