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Happiest study

Laatste wijziging: 24 januari 2022

The Hasselt appendicitis immunology and environmental study


Principal Investigator: Prof. Dr. Inge Gyssens, Researcher: Toon Peeters


Acute appendicitis is one of the most common abdominal disorders in the Western world.
This infection of the appendix can manifest itself at any age, but the highest incidence is found in the second and third decade of life, with a general risk of almost 10%. Despite the high frequency of appendicitis, the mortality rate is low. However, the rate of morbidity remain unacceptably high.


This study aims at comparing the innate immune response of patients with acute appendicitis with that of healthy controls in order to determine the effect of the innate immune system on the cause and course of the appendicitis. The relative importance of environmental factors, lifestyle and specific micro-organisms will be taken into account.

To this end, a prospective cohort study will be set up. This cohort will consist of 300 patients with acute appendicitis and 300 healthy controls of a similar age group. Both groups will be asked to provide blood samples for DNA isolation, serum samples for serology and feces samples for microbiome analysis. Tissue samples of the appendix will be collected from patients for subsequent immunological and microbiological research. Finally, blood samples will be taken from a subpopulation of patients and controls (≥ 18 years) and will be used for ex vivo immunological research.