- An integrated APProach focusEd on defining the moleculAr and biological mechanisms reguLatING viral reactivation and persistence



Funding body
PRIN 2017
85.000 €

Departments and Centres



Department of Translational Medicine


Working group

Marisa Gariglio
Irene Lo Cigno
Licia Martuscelli
Gloria Griffante
Federica Calati

Project duration

Start date
End date

Persistent or latent viral infections constitute a significant problem, particularly in individuals with reduced immune systems which can easily submit to reactivation of the virus with harmful consequences for the host.

The mechanisms that result in reactivation of these viruses are still little-known, making them a sizeable challenge for scientific researchers.

The goal of this project (funded by PRIN 2017) is to increase our knowledge of virus-host interaction, in order to identify:

  1. The mechanisms of viral persistence
  2. New markers to predict viral reactivation in patients
  3. Long-term damage to various organs caused by virus reactivation

The viruses which most commonly threaten public health, particularly for immunodepressed patients, are: Hepatitis B, papillomavirus, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, polyomavirus, Herpes Simplex (type 1), Epstein-Barr virus, cytomegalovirus, Herpes Zoster and Parvovirus B19. All these viruses are studied by various work groups involved in the project as stated in the endnotes, through an integrated approach that involves molecular, immunological and virological investigation.

Specifically, the UPO research group (coordinated by Dr. Borgogna) looks at Polyomavirus, particularly the mechanisms of reactivation and carcinogenesis of Merkel cell Polyomavirus.

The organisations and universities involved in the project are:
- Università di Milano, Prof. Carlo Federico Perno
- Università Sapienza , Roma, Prof. Guido Antonelli
- Università di Pavia/IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo, Prof. Fausto Baldanti
- Institute of Translational Pharmacology (IFT ), CNR, Roma, Dr. Giovanna De Chiara
- Università di Bologna, Prof. Maria Carla Re