University Clinical Hospital of Santiago de Compostela | GENVIP | IDIS
Development of biomarkers based on gene expression

GENVIP Research (Genetics, Vaccines, Infectious Paediatrics) is a paediatric research group dedicated to the study of infectious diseases and vaccines with a multi-omic perspective, focusing on the person rather than the pathogen.

The team is based in Santiago de Compostela, and is part of the Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria, an institution that combines the strengths of the University of Santiago de Compostela and the Hospital Clínico Universitario de Santiago de Compostela. This multidisciplinary team of 40 people has so far developed 9 European macro-projects, 50 competitive projects and more than 80 clinical trials, accumulating an impact factor > 5000 (JCR 2018).

One of the translational research lines of the GENVIP group is developed around biomarkers based on gene expression. The DIAVIR project was born in this line, which starts from a scenario and a context that places us in the year 2030 without the existence of useful antibiotics, so that any type of infection, however banal it may be (a simple dental phlegmon) will pose a serious threat to health.

This situation can only be changed through research, the search for new antibiotics, but above all through the rational use of antibiotics. However, with currently available methods, antibiotics are used unnecessarily in 3 out of 4 patients with fever. It is necessary to better select which patients should be treated with antibiotics, and this is what GENVIP is working on with the DIAVIR project, achieving a turning point through this innovative approach.

The DIAVIR project is based on transcriptomic biomarkers, i.e. biomarkers of gene expression (RNA) in patients suffering from an infection or inflammatory process, which unequivocally identify the underlying process, without the need to isolate the microorganism or perform other complementary tests. Specifically, they identify viral, bacterial or inflammatory infections, taking into account the differential and unique response of genes against each pathogen or in each disease.

The transcriptomic signature (PCT patent – patent application number EP19 382 084.2) for the differential diagnosis of viral infections is an innovative product that, once incorporated into a Point-of-Care Test Device, will become a high value-added tool for medical professionals as well as for patients and their families, and will lead to a reduction in unnecessary antibiotic prescription and hospital pressure.

Other projects

“BioIncubaTech – High Technology Incubator for the promotion of innovation and transfer of biotechnology in the field of health and food technologies to micro and SME’s” is an operation co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund – ERDF within the Pluri-regional Operational Programme of Spain ERDF 2014-2020 OP Project “High Technology Incubators for the promotion of innovation and transfer of technology to micro and SME’s”.


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