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Anne Van den Broeke, Doctor

Institut Jules Bordet
" Contribution to the application and implementation of a novel Covid-19 diagnostic testing method developed at the GIGA/FARAH academic research institutes. Starting with a handful academic scientists from different disciplines, we established a Covid diagnostic lab with the goal of increasing the testing capacity in Belgium during the heaviest period of the crisis. The lab was entirely and exclusively build by training academic volunteers dedicating their time and energy to a joint effort to "beat the virus". Today the lab has a testing capacity of > 3000 samples/day, 7days/7. The diagnostic lab contributed - and still contributes - to the federal Testing Task Force as one of the five partners involved in screening nursing homes and more recently "centres de triage". We believe extensive testing may be critical to assist and better understand the nascent "deconfinement". Making available our expertise in virus-associated diseases accumulated over years of...

Charles Pilette, Professor

UCLouvain, St-Luc
" We aim to characterize the reprogramming of structural cells of the lungs that are direct targets of the SARS-CoV-2, namely type 2 alveolar epithelial cells and endothelial cells, as well as their potential role in the induction of the (hyper)inflammatory phase of the disease leading to acute lung injury. The skills of our laboratory in lung and mucosal immunology research that are relevant to this field are (1) access to precious human lung tissue (e.g. from SARS-CoV-2 patients), (2) multiplex immunofluorescence staining and isolation of structural cells (e.g. alveolar epithelial cells, endothelial cells) from the human lung, as well as (3) their characterization using cell culture-based readouts and (in collab. with the UCL-CTMA) genetic sequencing. "
Funding: FNRS CUR, application submitted on 01-05-20.
Publication References: 1. Gohy ST, Hupin C, Fregimilicka C, Detry BR, Bouzin C, Gaide Chevronay H, Lecocq M, Weynand B, Ladjemi MZ, Pierreux CE, Birembaut P...

Delphine Canivet, PhD

Erasme Hospital
" Objectifs : L'épidémie du coronavirus a eu des conséquences délétères sur la santé mentale de la population générale1,2. Aucune étude ne s'est encore penchée sur l'impact psychologique du coronavirus sur les proches des patients ayant été infectés par le covid-19. Cette étude permet de comparer les proches de patients survivants ayant séjourné ou n'ayant pas séjourné en soins intensifs, des proches de patients décédés. Méthodologie : Les familles (N=200) dont le proche a séjourné en soins intensifs ou en unité COVID à l'hôpital Erasme seront contactées par téléphone et invitées à compléter des questionnaires en ligne au minimum 1 mois après la sortie d'hospitalisation de leur proche, ou après son décès, et ensuite 6 mois après la première évaluation. Les variables psychologiques qui seront évaluées sont : (1) la qualité de vie (The Mc Gill Quality of Life Questionnaire), les symptômes anxieux et dépressifs (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, HADS), les...

Françoise Mascart, Professor - Véronique Del Marmol, Professor - Véronique Corbière, Doctor

Hôpital Erasme and ULB - Faculty of medicine
" A translational prospective research project was initiated to characterize longitudinally the immune responses of patients with COVID-19, to identify the mechanisms underlying progression to severe disease. Blood samples are collected at three different time points from two groups of patients, those with a flu-like disease, and those with respiratory symptoms (mild to severe). They are stored in a biobank after appropriate treatment to be further available for different research projects. The first one will focus on the characterization of the phenotype of innate cells (dendritic cells, monocytes, NK cells) and T lymphocyte subpopulations, and on the analysis of the concentrations of IFN-a and a panel of other cytokines, to investigate the importance of the kinetic of pDC mobilization and type I IFN production before the appearance of the cytokine storm. "
Funding: - ULB - COVID-19 special call - FNRS - crédit urgent de recherche...

Gilles Darcis, FNRS Post-doctorate Clinical Master Specialist

ULiège, CHU - FNRS
" We aim to define the clinical characteristics associated with the production and the level of neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) in COVID19 recovered patients. In particular, we will investigate whether the development of a strong and persistent humoral immune response takes place in severely affected, individuals with mild symptoms or asymptomatic individuals. We will also study the study the persistence of NAbs overtime. "
Funding: Fonds Léon Frédéricq FNRS
Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Gilles Parzibut, Doctor

ULiège, CHU
" La recherche de biomarqueurs fiables, sensibles et peu invasifs est un enjeu de premier ordre pour la médecine moderne. En effet, ces biomarqueurs ont le potentiel de transformer la prise en charge médicale en améliorant le dépistage et le diagnostic, mais aussi en permettant de mieux appréhender la physiopathologie d'une pathologie ou sa réponse à un traitement donné. Fort de nos travaux précédents, nous proposons de réaliser une étude prospective sur une population adulte souffrant d'un SDRA modéré à sévère post SARS-COV2 afin de caractériser une signature exosomique plasmatique propre à cette population. "
Funding: FLF FIRS CHU de Liège
Publication References: hankar-Hari, M., Fan, E. & Ferguson, N. D. Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) phenotyping. Intensive Care Med. (2018). 45;(4): 516-519. Thompson BT, Chambers RC, Liu KD. Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. N Engl J Med. 2017;377(6):562–72. Johnstone RM, Adam M, Hammond JR, Orr L, Turbide C. Vesicle...

Isabelle Salmon, Professor

ULB, Department of Pathology, Erasme hospital and DIAPath-CMMI - Royal Academy of Medicine of Belgium
" A first objective of this project is to establish an accurate topography of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the organs and various cells of patients who died in COVID-19 units, in order to contribute to a better understanding of the pathogenesis of COVID-19. A second objective is to provide a routine diagnostic test for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 in routine samples in pathological anatomy. "
Funding: Fonds Y Boël (Brussels, Belgium), Fonds Erasme pour la Recherche Médicale (Brussels, Belgium), and "Appel à projet Spécial COVID-19 - ULB" (Brussels, Belgium). The CMMI is supported by the European Regional Development Fund and the Walloon Region of Belgium (Wallonia-biomed; grant no. 411132-957270; project "CMMI-ULB").
Contact: Prof. I. Salmon, Department of Pathology, Erasme Hospital, Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Route de Lennik 808, 1070 Brussels, Belgium.

Jean-marie Colet, Pr. - Anne-Emilie Declèves, Pr. - Frédéric Debelle, Dr

" We set up a pilot study including positive COVID-19 patients hospitalized in intensive care with acute renal disorders. The primary intention here is to assess the serum and urine metabonomic profiles of patients with renal disorders following SARS COV-2 infection at the time of their hospitalization in order to identify metabolic indicators of the acute renal injury. "
Funding: internal funding and CUR/FNRS project submitted
Publication References:
1. Lindon JC, Nicholson JK, Holmes E, Antti H, Bollard ME, Keun H, Beckonert O, Ebbels TM, Reily MD, Robertson D, Stevens GJ, Luke P, Breau AP, Cantor GH, Bible RH, Niederhauser U, Senn H, Schlotterbeck G, Sidelmann UG, Laursen SM, Tymiak A, Car BD, Lehman-McKeeman L, Colet JM, Loukaci A, Thomas C. Contemporary issues in toxicology the role of metabonomics in toxicology and its evaluation by the COMET project. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 187(3):137-46 (2003)
2. Colet Jean-Marie, ""Metabonomics in the Preclinical and...

Michelle Nisolle, Professor - Vincent Rigo, Professor - Katty Delbecque, Doctor

ULiège, CHU, Obstetrics and Gynecology - Royal Academy of Medicine of Belgium
" The primary objective of the project is to assess the risk of maternal-fetal transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The secondary objectives are to analyze the impact of COVID-19 infection on the course of pregnancy as well as that of the newborn. This is a prospective study of a positive COVID-19 pregnant patients cohort in a population of 2,500 patients who give birth in the Gynecology-Obstetrics Department at CHR-Liège. Samples will be taken from the mother, the newborn and from the placenta during childbirth from patients who were diagnosed with COVID-19 during pregnancy or when they were admitted to the delivery unit. Obstetric and neonatal repercussions will be analyzed. "
Funding: Fondation Leon Fredericq
Contact: Pr Michelle Nisolle This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Mickael Aoun, Infectiologist

Bordet Institute
" On April 11th, 2020, four patients hospitalized for more than 7 days developed fever some of them respiratory symptoms compatible with Covid-19 infection and were detected positive for SARS-CoV2. A 5th patient was also detected positive , had minor symptoms and was admitted 2 days earlier for collecting PBSC As a consequence of this mini-outbreak a screening of healthcare workers at this Unit revealed 2 staff members positive for SARS-CoV2. Severe acute respiratory distress syndrome Coronavirus 2(SARS-CoV2), causing Covid19 pandemic is rapidly spreading from person-to-person, via respiratory droplets, direct contact with mucous membranes or indirect contact through touching infected surfaces and then touching own eyes, nose or mouth. Airborne transmission after generated aerosols (intubation, bronchoscopy, tracheal aspiration,…) have been previously reported for other Coronaviruses(SARS-CoV1, MERS) and has been postulated for SARS-Cov2. In critical units such as the...

O. Vandenberg, Pr. - N. Clumeck, Pr. - C. Montesinos, Pr. - N. Dauby, MD, PhD - C. Gilles, MD - C. Martin, MD - S. Van den Wijngaert, MD - A. Marchant, Pr. - D. Martiny, Pr. - S. De Wit, Pr.

LHUB-ULB - Royal Academy of Medicine of Belgium
" "The purpose of this study is to map the healthcare workers exposure risk in Saint-Pierre University Hospital by combining molecular methods with serological assays. In summary, the short-term objective is threefold: (1) Provide an estimate of the sero-prevalence at baseline among high-risk health care workers (2) Determine prospectively the incidence of new SARS-CoV-2 infections among high-risk health care workers (3) Estimate the healthcare worker exposure to the virus by serological data to help our five partner hospitals in their day-to-day management of the ongoing pandemic The mid-term objectives are: (1) Establish an accurate mapping of the spread of the virus among our population allowing to identify the chain of transmission, (2) Identify predictive immunological markers of susceptibility to infection and disease severity to inform vaccine strategies and, (3) Establish solid diagnosis algorithm that will help adequate lockdown...

Olivier Debeir, Professor - Olivier Van Hove, Kinesiologist

" Severe COVID-19 patients have a greater risk of long-term health issues and sometimes develop permanent lung damage or fibrosis needing a long treatment to enhance their quality of life. The project aims to better quantify the breathing parameters of a patient to assess his revalidation evolution. A 3D image acquisition based system, provides contacless and non invasive measure. The system can be used as a complementary diagnosis tools as well for a quantitative follow up. "
Funding: So far the project is supported by volunteering inside the ULB/Laboratory of Image Synthesis and Analysis (LISA) and the Erasme Hospital
Contact: Olivier Debeir < This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.> & Olivier Van Hove < This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Ph. DELVENNE, FNRS Research Director / Chef de service Anatomie pathologique - J. GUIOT, Chef de clinique Pneumologie - L. RENAUD, Chef de service Pneumologie - M. MOUTSCHEN, Chef de service Infectiologie- B. MISSET, Chef de service Soins Intensifs

ULiège, CHU - Royal Academy of Medicine of Belgium
" Nous faisons face à une pandémie d'infection COVID-19. Ce virus pathogène est source de complications pulmonaires aggravant fortement le pronostic de nos patients. De nos jours, tant les mécanismes physiopathologiques en cause que les marqueurs de sévérité de l'atteinte restent indéterminés. Il apparaît donc comme urgent de pouvoir identifier des marqueurs diagnostiques, pronostiques et prédictifs pour nos patients. Dans ce contexte, plusieurs voies rapidement explorables nous apparaissent comme critiques. Le but final de cette étude est de contribuer à une prise en charge plus ciblée des patients porteurs d'une infection au SRAS-Cov-2. "
Funding: Fonds Léon Frederic
Publication References: Dix publications représentatives : 1) Prevention of murine radiogenic thymic lymphomas by tumor necrosis factor or by marrow grafting. HUMBLET C, GREIMERS R, DELVENNE P, DEMAN J, BONIVER J, DEFRESNE MP. J Natl Cancer Inst 88 (1996), 824-831. IF...

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Pierre Smeesters, Professor

" Role of Children in Sars-Cov-2 transmission, Heath Care Worker protection, Paediatric epidemiology and disease burden "
Funding: FNRS funding under assessment.
Contact: Prof Pierre Smeesters Academic Children Hospital Queen Fabiola Molecular Bacteriology Laboratory, ULB This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Sofia Morra, FNRS Research Fellow

ULB, Hôpital Erasme - FNRS
Lung injury, endothelial dysfunction and the role of RAAS during SARS-CoV-2 invection. " The first case of a person infected with SARS-Cov-2 virus can be tracked back on November the 17th, 2019, in China. On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic. On April 13, COVID-19 is affecting 210 countries and territories worldwide, about 2 million positive cases have been officially declared along with 115.000 deaths. The real number of infected and deaths is scarily higher, considering that up to 65% people are asymptomatic and thus, not tested. The percentage of patients with COVID-19 needed for intensive care unit (ICU) varied from 5 to 32% in Wuhan, China. It was up to 9% in Lombardy, Italy. According to available data from Lombardy, 99% of patients admitted to the ICU needed respiratory support (88% invasive ventilation, 11% non invasive ventilation). In this unprecedented time, while SARS-Cov-2 virus is halting...

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Brussels & Wallonia against COVID19