Article Text

Download PDFPDF

  1. Marjolaine Vareille1,2,3,4*,
  2. Elisabeth Kieninger1,4*,
  3. Marco P. Alves1,4,
  4. Brigitte S. Kopf1,4,
  5. Alexander Möller5,
  6. Thomas Geiser6,
  7. Sebastian L. Johnston7,
  8. Michael R. Edwards7,
  9. Nicolas Regamey1,4
  1. 1Department of Clinical Research, University of Bern, 3010 Bern, Switzerland
  2. 2Institute for Infectious Diseases, University of Bern, 3010 Bern, Switzerland
  3. 3Laboratoire d'Immunologie, EA 4233, Facultés de Médecine et Pharmacie, 63001 Clermont-Ferrand, France
  4. 4Division of Respiratory Medicine, Department of Paediatrics, University Children's Hospital of Bern, Inselspital, 3010 Bern, Switzerland
  5. 5Department of Respiratory Medicine, University Children's Hospital, 8091 Zürich, Switzerland
  6. 6Division of Respiratory Medicine, University Hospital of Bern, Inselspital, 3010 Bern, Switzerland
  7. 7Department of Respiratory Medicine, National Heart and Lung Institute, Wright Fleming Institute of Infection and Immunity & MRC and Asthma UK Centre in Allergic Mechanisms of Asthma, Imperial College London, Norfolk Place, London W2 1PG, UK


Vareille M, Kieninger E, Alves MP, et al. Impaired type I and type III interferon induction and rhinovirus control in human cystic fibrosis airway epithelial cells. Thorax 2012;67:517-25. This article has been retracted.

In our article recently published in Thorax, we described a novel mechanism explaining the increased susceptibility of patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) to rhinovirus infections, namely defective interferon type I and III production by CF airway epithelial cells. In experiments performed after publication of the article we were unable to consistently replicate our findings of deficient interferon type I and III production by CF airway epithelial cells upon rhinovirus infection. In the light of these results, we carried out detailed investigations of the data reported in the above manuscript and regrettably found evidence of deliberate manipulation of experimental data by the first author Dr M. Vareille. This manipulation was accompanied in some instances by absence of original data files. The manipulation/original data absence involved data presented in most, if not all of the figures, thus we wish to fully retract the paper and apologise to the readers of Thorax and to the scientific community for the inconvenience this has caused.

We also checked data published by our group in manuscripts on which Dr Vareille was a co-author and found that data published in these manuscripts had not been manipulated. These two manuscripts, whose data and conclusions we stand by are:

Edwards MR, Regamey N, Vareille M, et al. Impaired innate interferon induction in severe therapy resistant atopic asthmatic children. Mucosal Immunol 2013;6:797–806. doi: 10.1038/mi.2012.118.


Kieninger E, Vareille M, Kopf BS, et al. Lack of an exaggerated inflammatory response on virus infection in cystic fibrosis. Eur Respir J 2012;39:297–304. doi: 10.1183/09031936.00054511.

Dr. Vareille has received a letter from the Secretary General of the University of Bern condemning her scientific misconduct as a severe offence against the rules of scientific integrity. Her current employers have also been informed.

All co-authors of the publication including Dr. Vareille concur with the retraction statement.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

Linked Articles