Hepatitis C virus is transmitted by direct blood-to-blood contact: while blood transfusions were the main problem prior to 1990, transmission by blood products is no longer an issue in Germany - owing to highly sensitive tests. Nowadays, insufficient hygiene is the main hepatitis C virus infection risk. What can we do against the spread of this virus due to deficient hygiene? Prevention is the silver bullet for control of the hepatitis C virus. Another aspect in the focus of the members of the Virus Transmission research group: The envelope of the virus also plays a central role for infection of the host, the host's defence strategies and the production and release of new viruses.
Apl. Prof Dr Eike Steinmann
Eike Steinmann studied biology at Leibniz University Hannover - majoring in virology, microbiology and molecular biology. Following a DAAD scholarship for a stay at Northeastern University in Boston, he completed his master's thesis working with Prof Herrler at the Institute of Virology of Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover (Veterinary University Hannover). The topic of his thesis: The matrix protein of vesicular stomatitis virus. For his PhD thesis, Eike Steinmann moved to the Institute of Molecular Virology of University of Heidelberg researching the function of the p7 protein in the replication cycle of HCV as a member of Prof Bartenschlager's research group. He and his tutor, Prof Thomas Pietschmann, later joined TWINCORE. His research focuses on various aspects of the assembly and release of HCV and the search for new anti-viral targets. Other aspects of his work include the environmental stability and susceptibility of HCV to disinfectants.