The specific objectives of the TCR were to:
- Develop a scientifically valid, evidence-based understanding of the pathophysiology and aetiology of CIRS and other biotoxin-related illnesses.
- Establish a case definition for CIRS and other biotoxin-related illnesses that will guide testing and diagnosis, including the identification of potential biomarkers.
- Develop an evidence base that will underpin treatment and management strategies.
An Integrated Biomarker Platform for the Early Diagnosis and Treatment of Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome in Australia
NHMRC Funding: $1,063,797
Macquarie University Funding: $212,140
Total: $1,275,937 (AUD)
The proposed three-year, longitudinal case-control study will explore possible new diagnostic biomarkers in the genomic, immunological, pro-inflammatory, and environmental domains, in addition to corroborating existing immune and inflammatory biomarkers. The research team will also examine the neurological abnormalities, cognitive deficits, and neurodegeneration associated with CIRS via brain imaging and other diagnostics. The creation of a comprehensive and validated biomarker platform seeks to improve diagnosis for affected individuals and identify genetic markers predisposing those at-risk.
A study cohort of one-to-two hundred (patient) cases will be recruited over a staggered intake, based on pre-defined diagnostic criteria, along with (age- and sex-matched) controls. The samples and data will be collected from the cohort at multiple timepoints over a 12-month period and will be the foundation of an ongoing scientific (biotoxin) biobank. This will aid PANDIS and the broader scientific community in further multi-disciplinary research to better understand any connections between environmental biotoxin exposure and other chronic illnesses.
Establishing a clearer understanding of how the environment (microbes and biotoxins in water-damaged buildings) drives immune dysfunction in susceptible individuals has been challenging thus far. This study aims to better understand the mechanisms of how biotoxin exposure and burden affects patient health along with any possible connections as an underlying trigger to other autoimmune and neurological illnesses.