If the kidneys stop working a kidney transplant can restore the kidney function. However, the immune system would recognize the new kidney as foreign and attack it. Therefore kidneytransplant recipients need drugs to reduce the function of their immune system. These drugs are
called immunosuppressive drugs. If the patients take too much drugs their immune system is weak and they get infections.
Therefore transplant physicians need a tool to quantify the activity of the immune system and optimize the drug dose. The recently discovered TT virus might do this job: TT is naturally occurring in the blood of almost every healthy person and every kidney transplant recipient but it causes no disease. If the immune system is strong, the TT virus load is low; this indicates a risk for organ rejection. If the immune system is weak the TT virus load is high; this indicates a risk for infection.
The quantification of the TT virus load in the blood of kidney transplant recipients might help optimize immunosuppressive drugs and thus reduce infections and rejection. Within the TTV GUIDE TX project TT virus guided dosing of immunosuppressive drugs will be tested in a clinical trial including hundreds of kidney transplant recipients from all over Europe. Once established in routine clinical care, TT virus guidance might reduce thousands of infections and kidney transplant rejection each year. In the future the TT virus might not only help kidney transplant recipients but also patients with liver, heart and lung transplantation and guide therapy in autoimmune, infectious and oncologic diseases.
TTV GUIDE TX brings together 19 partners, including kidney transplant physicians, clinical virologists, project and clinical trial managers, ethicists and health care industry professionals, from 7 EU countries.
INCLIVA will carry out the quantification of TTV DNA in blood.
TTV GUIDE TX has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no. ID 896932