Based on the observation that childhood asthma usually occurs after a viral respiratory tract infection, the central hypothesis of the project is that repeated, acute infection-mediated events may reprogram the immune system to predispose towards a chronic inflammation pattern.
The PreDicta consortium integrated 14 partners from 9 European countries, under the coordination of Professor Nikos Papadopoulos from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. Leading core units of the consortium have substantially contributed to our current understanding of the role of respiratory infections in asthma, the immuno-inflammatory processes involved and the development of diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for this disease. This academic effort employing the latest technologies of molecular biology, virology and cytology is complemented by the participation of BIOMAY, an Austrian company fully dedicated to the development of novel diagnostic and immunotherapeutic approaches for allergic diseases and asthma.
The final objective of PreDicta was to accurately predict the predisposing risk factors for the development of respiratory allergies and to interfere more effectively with the disease process by targeting causative agents rather than symptoms.
In December 2014, work from PreDicta provided for the first time evidence that increases of antibodies against a portion of the rhinovirus coat protein VP1 might be strain-specific surrogate markers for the severity of rhinovirus-induced respiratory symptoms.