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erlenmyer-research
Research group/lab  |  Wildlife group

Comparative Pathology

Our goal is to gain thorough knowledge of the pathogenesis, immune response, and epidemiology of viral diseases in people and animals, out of scientific curiosity but also to improve prevention, diagnosis and treatment. As part of this we aim for transformative changes of society to reduce the drivers for emergence of viral diseases.

About our research group/lab

Our research

Our goal is to gain thorough knowledge of the pathogenesis, immune response, and epidemiology of viral diseases in people and animals, out of scientific curiosity but also to improve prevention, diagnosis and treatment. As part of this we aim for transformative changes of society to reduce the drivers for emergence of viral diseases.

Comparative Pathology/Wildlife

The Wildlife group studies virus infections, especially those with emerging potential, in animals and humans, compares the pathology of animal and human diseases and use the knowledge to improve the quality of life for animals and humans.

Comparative Pathogenesis/RielScience

The RielScience group studies how respiratory virus infection causes systemic diseases. Although respiratory viruses cause in general mild respiratory diseases, it has been known for decades that these viral infections can also result in severe diseases outside the respiratory tract (extra-respiratory diseases), such as in the central nervous system. However, the mechanism of how these respiratory viruses cause extra-respiratory diseases (systemic pathogenesis) is poorly studied.


We currently study the systemic pathogenesis of influenza A viruses, enterovirus D68 and SARS-CoV-2. Our research questions include:

  • How can the viruses spread and cause diseases in tissues outside the respiratory tract, such as in the central nervous system?
  • How can these viruses trigger systemic inflammation?

Comparative immunology/RhabdoLab

The RhabdoLab group aims at understanding how, where, and when rabies virus suppresses the immune system of its host. Additionally, we investigate if different lyssaviruses use the same immunosuppressive mechanisms, and if the same type and level of immunosuppression is observed among different host species.

We use a broad variety of cellular and molecular tools to study the immune response against rabies virus and related viruses, from the level of the individual cell to whole organisms (e.g. in samples from naturally infected dogs or patient materials).     

Our projects

Comparative Pathology/Wildlife

Viruses in the night
Aim: To characterise the dynamics of virus infections in bat populations in the Netherlands in relation to bat-human interactions, in order to minimise the risk of human exposure to bat viruses from human activities to manage and protect bats.
Team: Vera Mols, Marco van de Bildt, Thijs Kuiken, Tetiana Valkova, Lineke Begeman
Collaboration(s): Stichting de Laatvlieger
Funding: Internal funding


Comparative Pathogenesis/RielScience

Systemic pathogenesis of enterovirus D68
Aim: To understand how enterovirus D68 can spread outside the respiratory tract and cause disease in other organs, such as skeletal muscles, heart and central nervous system.
Team: Syriam Sooksawasdi Na Ayudhya, Brigitta M. Laksono
Funding: VIDI


Neuropathogenesis of respiratory viruses
Aim: To understand how respiratory viruses, such as influenza virus and enterovirus D68, can infect, spread and cause diseases in central nervous system.
Team: Feline Benavides,Lisa Bauer
Funding: VIDI

 
Comparative Immunology/RhabdoLab

Towards reversing immune suppression in rabies virus infection
Team: Personal grant Corine GeurtsvanKessel
Funding: Erasmus MC Fellowship 2019

RabiBoost: Restoring suppressed immune pathways as a novel post-exposure treatment for rabies virus (RABV).
Team: Personal grant Carmen Embregts
Funding: ZonMw VENI 2021

Investigating the immune response in dog-bite victims before and after rabies post-exposition prophylaxis
Collaboration(s): ICDDRB Dhaka, Bangladesh and Indus Hospital & Health Network, Karachi, Pakistan.

Investigating the immune status and inter-host virus evolution during an outbreak of rabies in dogs in South-Africa
Collaboration(s): Matthijs Ravensberg, Claude Sabeta

Key Publications

 
2023

Rabies virus uniquely reprograms the transcriptome of human monocyte-derived macrophages. Carmen W E Embregts, Annelieke S Wentzel, Alexander T den Dekker, Wilfred F J van IJcken, Ralph Stadhouders, Corine H GeurtsvanKessel. Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 2023 Jan 31;13:1013842. doi: 10.3389/fcimb.2023.1013842. PMID: 36798087

2022

Rabies Virus Populations in Humans and Mice Show Minor Inter-Host Variability within Various Central Nervous System Regions and Peripheral Tissues. Carmen W E Embregts, Elmoubashar A B A, Devendra Bansal, Marjan Boter, Anne van der Linde, Vincent P Vaes, Ingeborg van Middelkoop-van den Berg, Jeroen IJpelaar, Hisham Ziglam, Peter V Coyle, Imad Ibrahim, Khaled A Mohran, Muneera Mohammed Saleh Alrajhi, Md Mazharul Islam, Randa Abdeen, Abdul Aziz Al-Zeyara, Nidal Mahmoud Younis, Hamad Eid Al-Romaihi, Mohammad Hamad J AlThani, Reina S Sikkema, Marion P G Koopmans, Bas B Oude Munnink, Corine H GeurtsvanKessel. Viruses. 2022 Nov 28;14(12):2661. doi: 10.3390/v14122661. PMID: 36560665

2021
Street RABV Induces the Cholinergic Anti-inflammatory Pathway in Human Monocyte-Derived Macrophages by Binding to nAChr α7. Carmen W E Embregts, Lineke Begeman, Cees J Voesenek, Byron E E Martina, Marion P G Koopmans, Thijs Kuiken, Corine H GeurtsvanKessel. Front Immunol. 2021 Feb 19;12:622516. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2021.622516.  PMID: 33679766
2020

Dried blood spot cards: A reliable sampling method to detect human antibodies against rabies virus. Laura Doornekamp, Carmen W E Embregts, Georgina I Aron, Simone Goeijenbier, David A M C van de Vijver, Eric C M van Gorp, Corine H GeurtsvanKessel. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2020 Oct 13;14(10):e0008784. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0008784. PMID: 33048925

First molecular analysis of rabies virus in Qatar and clinical cases imported into Qatar, a case report. Bas B Oude Munnink, Elmoubashar Abu Baker Abd Farag, Corine GeurtsvanKessel, Claudia Schapendonk, Anne van der Linden, Robert Kohl, Georgina Arron, Hisham Ziglam, Wael Goravey Mhjoop Goravey, Peter V Coyle, Imad Ibrahim, Khaled A Mohran, Muneera Mohammed Saleh Alrajhi, Md Mazharul Islam, Randa Abdeen, A Aziz Mahmoud A H Al-Zeyara, Nidal Mahmoud Younis, Hamad Eid Al-Romaihi, Mohammad Hamad J Al Thani, Richard Molenkamp, Reina S Sikkema, Marion Koopmans. Int J Infect Dis. 2020 Jul;96:323-326. doi: 10.1016/j.ijid.2020.04.070. PMID32376305

2018
Comparative pathogenesis of rabies in bats and carnivores, and implications for spillover to humans. Lineke Begeman, Corine GeurtsvanKessel, Stefan Finke, Conrad M Freuling, Marion Koopmans, Thomas Müller, Tom J H Ruigrok, Thijs Kuiken. Lancet Infect Dis. 2018 Apr;18(4):e147-e159. doi: 10.1016/S1473-3099(17)30574-1. PMID29100899

Our teams

Principal Investigators

Thijs Kuiken

Debbie van Riel

Prof. dr. Thijs Kuiken
Comparative Pathology/
Wildlife group

ORCID
Dr. Debby van Riel
Comparative Pathogenesis/
RielScience group
ORCID
 Corine Geurts van Kessel  

Dr. Corine H. Geurts van Kessel
Comparative Immunology/
RhabdoLab
ORCID

 

 

Comparative Pathology/Wildlife

Thijs Kuiken Lineke Begeman

Prof. dr. Thijs Kuiken
Principal Investigator
ORCID
Lineke Begeman
Postgraduate student
ORCID
   
Vera Mols
Research technician
ORCID
Peter van Run
Research technician

 
Marco van de Bildt
Research technician
 

 

Comparative Pathogenesis/RielScience

Debbie van Riel  
Dr. Debby van Riel
Principal Investigator
ORCID
Dr. Lisa Bauer
Postdoctoral researcher 
ORCID
 Brigitta Laksono  
Dr. Brigitta M. Laksono
Postdoctoral researcher
ORCID
Dr. Edwin Veldhuis Kroeze
Postdoctoral researcher
ORCID

 
Feline Benavides
Postgraduate student 
ORCID
Syriam Sooksawasdi Na
Ayudhya
Postgraduate student
ORCID
Lonneke Leijten
 
Lonneke Leijten
Research technician
 

 

Comparative Immunology/RhabdoLab

Corine Geurts van Kessel   
Dr. Corine H. Geurts van Kessel 
Principal Investigator
ORCID
Dr. Carmen W. E. Embregts
Assistant professor 
ORCID

Keshia Kroh
Postgraduate student 
ORCID
Lars W. van Greuningen
Research technician 
ORCID

In the media

25 March 2021
Rabies virus immediately attacks the immune system

Corine Geurts van Kessel op het lab

The rabies virus that causes rabies immediately after entering the body, immediately attacks the immune system. This is discovered by researchers of the Erasmus MC. Counteracting early can potentially prevent a fatal outcome.

They are the first scientists to zoom in on the first moments after infection with the rabies virus, say researcher Carmen Embregts and clinical virologist Corine Geurts van Kessel.

Read the whole article (in Dutch)