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Discoveries of our scientific team are among the most significant in 2019

Published on: 8. January 2020.

An international group of scientists led by Prof. dr. Stipan Jonjic from The University of Rijeka Medical Faculty marked 2019 with the new discovery of the mechanisms of cytomegalovirus (CMV).

It is one of the most widespread viruses that does not cause problem in most healthy people, but is the leading cause of deformity in infants and children, while it can cause life-threatening infections in people with a weakened immune system. There is no effective vaccine or therapy for this virus. Prof. dr. Jonjic with his associates Jelena Zeleznjak, Vanda Juranic Lisnic, Branko Popovic, Berislav Lisnic, Marina Babic, Tihana Lenac Rovis and Astrid Krmpotic investigated the mechanisms by which CMV evades the immune system response. The results were published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.

Applying the model on experimental mice, they discovered a completely new mechanism by which CMV manipulates tissue compatibility molecules by “sticking” two proteins to them. By doing so, it changes them to lock down the immune system and prevent the immune cells from recognizing infected cells.

More about other discoveries made by renowned Croatian scientists: