Dana Wolf is a Professor of Virology and Infectious Diseases at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel, and the Director of the Clinical Virology Unit at the Hadassah University Medical Center.
She is a member of several national and international advisory committees, including the Israeli Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and Infectious Diseases, and the European Society for Virology Executive Board. Her research interests focus on human cytomegalovirus transmission and pathogenesis, ex vivo studies of viral infection and immune response in human surrogate models, and new antiviral strategies.
In her talk she will present the identification of new prognostic amniotic fluid biomarkers of congenital cytomegalovirus infection severit.
Keynote Lecture Abstract
Prognostic amniotic fluid biomarkers of congenital CMV severity
Prognostic assessment of CMV-infected fetuses has remained an ongoing challenge in prenatal care, in the absence of established prenatal biomarkers of congenital CMV (cCMV) infection severity. Improvements in the diagnosis of primary maternal infection and in prenatal diagnosis of fetal infection, along with the development of new experimental approaches for prenatal antiviral treatment, have triggered extensive de-facto screening of pregnant women for CMV infection in European countries and in Israel. Together, the diagnostic and therapeutic advances underscore the need for early prognostic biomarkers of cCMV severity. I will present our recent studies in which, addressing this knowledge gap, we have discovered new prenatal biomarkers which predict the severity of cCMV-related fetal brain injury. Employing global proteome analysis along with specific immunoassays in mid-gestation amniotic fluids of CMV-infected fetuses, we have identified the immunomodulatory proteins chemerin and galectin-3-binding-protein as highly accurate prognostic biomarkers, distinguishing fetuses with severe vs asymptomatic cCMV. Once further assessed in larger cohorts, their analysis could be employed to guide early prognostic stratification and potential personalized treatment of cCMV-infected fetuses.