Whipple's disease (WD) is a rare, multifactorial disease, in which the bacterium Tropheryma whipplei causes infections in predisposed hosts. We plan to set up the first multidisciplinary consortium to improve our understanding of the interaction of host, agent and environment in this disorder. This includes a coordinated collection of different tissues from WD patients and controls, studies of host factors (characterizing the underlying immunogenetic defect) and of environmental factors (occurrence of T. whipplei). In order to improve diagnosis, microbiologic characterization of the agent will include studies of growth conditions (allowing antibiotic susceptibility testing) and sequencing of the bacillus. Prospective therapy studies aim to improve the current antibiotic therapy and to test beneficial effects of new supportive treatments. This should lead to a significant improvement of the patients' disease burden.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
3000 Louvain / Leuven