Our laboratory is located at Fürst-Pückler-Straße in Cologne, about ten minutes apart from the main medical campus of the University of Cologne. The laboratory performs resistance testing for HIV, HBV, HCV and CMV diagnostics as analysis of viral subtypes for the purpose of elucidating epidemiology.
Genomic sequencing is a core technology in modern molecular diagnostics. In our laboratory we perform sequencing of viral genomes for clinical diagnostics and for research. This includes two types of sequencing: (i) the more traditional Sanger sequencing, where genomes from cell mixture are sequenced in bulk and a consensus sequence is returned that comprises the dominating nucleotide at each sequence position and (ii) new-generation sequencing (NGS), which resolves (short pieces of) the individual genomics sequence. The latter technology affords resolution of a population of viral strains in a sample, which enables more accurately targeted individualized therapy.
Cell culture assays analyzed the action of the virus inside cells cultivated for in-vitro experiments. One kind of such assays measure the viral resistance phenotype. Here antiviral drugs are added to cells and virus in rising concentrations and the effectiveness of the drug in suppressing virus replication is measured. The result is a quantitative readout informative about the level of resistance of the virus to the drug. Other assays measure the impact of cellular molecules such as APOBEC3 on virus replication.