School of Paediatrics and Child Health

Cibele Gaido

Cibele Gaido


Cibele Gaido

School of Paediatrics & Child Health
The University of Western Australia
Princess Margaret Hospital for Children
PO Box D 184, Subiaco
WA 6840

Phone (+61) 9340 8625
Fax (+61) 9388 2097


Start Date

August 2012

Submission Date

To be confirmed

Cibele Gaido


Immunological Differences in the Response of Asthmatic and Health Children Against Human Rhinovirus Species C


Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease that often develops in early childhood, affecting ~10% of Australian children aged 0-14. Defined as a complex disease, asthma has long been recognized to be highly dependent on both environmental exposure and genetic background. 

Respiratory tract viruses have emerged as an important trigger for asthma exacerbations: our group found that 87% of children presenting to the Emergency Department of Princess Margaret Hospital with acute wheeze were identified with human rhinovirus (HRV), and the majority with the newly discovered HRV-C species. HRV-C has been linked to more severe symptoms, and an increased risk of prior and subsequent hospital admission. Our research team has recently reported a striking finding: Despite their sequence dissimilarity, HRV-A and HRV-C species have a high degree of antibody cross-reactivity and HRV-C specific antibody response is low not only in asthmatic children but also in healthy controls. 

Although HRV-C immune response is impaired in both healthy and asthmatic children, the latter progress to lower respiratory tract infections and more severe symptoms of asthma, whilst healthy children infected with the same HRV species have only a common cold or are asymptomatic. 

The major aim of this PhD project is to understand why asthmatic children respond differently to HRV-C infections compared to healthy controls by defining the cellular phenotype(s) that respond to specific and cross-reactive T-cell epitopes of HRV-A and HRV-C. The gene pathways that are associated with the specific and cross-reactive epitopes will also be identified.

Why my research is important

Currently little is known about the mechanisms underlying viral-induced asthma and alternative therapies to modulate viral pathogenesis are desperately needed. The studies will provide important mechanistic explanations for the impaired immune response to HRV-C, high pathogenicity and close association of HRV-C with asthma exacerbations. This project will also identify species-specific and cross-reactive HRV antigens, which can be used as valuable tools for future diagnostics, therapies, and/or vaccine development.


  • SIRF + UPAIS + Safety net top-up UWA
  • Telethon kids Institute small grant
  • Telethon Perth Children’s Hospital Research Fund

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Last updated:
Thursday, 11 September, 2014 5:08 PM