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VICOBE

Health Holland has awarded a TKI-LSH grant for the project entitled: Viral pneumonia: from COVID19 to beyond (VICOBE). The VICOBE consortium consists of department of  Pulmonary Diseases of UMC Utrecht, the Analytical Chemistry & Chemometrics group of the Institute for Molecules and Materials at Radboud University and the startup FlowView Diagnostics. Dr. Gerjen Tinnevelt takes part in the VICOBE consortium.

Objectives

The Vicobe consortium aims at improving the diagnosis,  but particularly the prognosis of disease development focusing on a prediction model for those patients that end up in the Intensive Care Unit.

Background

Viral pneumonia’s such as COVID19 are associated with unpredictable disease course ranging from subclinical towards extreme severity associated with high mortality. The relationship of the disease deterioration caused by a virus infection and the hyperactivation of the host immune system is unclear, which critically hinders the management of pandemics such as now with COVID19. It is particularly worrying that polymerase chain reaction for COVID19 leads to many false negative tests.

Design

UMC Utrecht has developed a point-of-care 24/7 fully automated flow analysis for determination of immune profiling of the innate immune system for monitoring and predicting deterioration of disease on the ward and/or intensive care unit. During the viral outbreak in the Netherlands we have sampled all (suspected) COVID19 patients in UMCU: 344 unique patients, 700 samples and 1400 analyses. These raw data need to be translated into intuitive visualizations and evaluated for their predictive power. The project will also prospectively sample during the coming influenza season and possibly during a putative second wave of COVID19.

Work packages

The project will be organized in three work packages:

1.Clinical application of  24/7 immuno-monitoring in viral pneumonia patients
2.Development of multidimensional methods for the management and understanding of complex flow cytometry data
3.Development of intuitive visualizations for broad clinical application

Social and economic impact

The anticipated social and economic impact of viral pneumonia is huge as illustrated by the high mortality and infectivity. During the COVID19 pandemic it has become crystal clear that the understanding of the underlying clinical mechanisms causing the viral diseases are basically lacking creating a very vulnerable situation for society. Better diagnosis and prognosis will greatly help the understanding and management of these viral pneumonias.