Hello, and welcome to my ePortfolio!
I am a third year PhD student in the negative sense RNA virus group in the School of Life Sciences at the University of Warwick. I completed my undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences with Virology at the University of Warwick in 2009. During my studies as an undergraduate I developed an interest in virus replication and disease. I then undertook an MSc in Molecular Biology and Pathology of Viruses at Imperial College, London in 2010, prior to commencing my PhD research in October of that year.
Characterising the host-range determinants of Chandipura virus
Viruses are continually evolving and they regularly invade human populations and spread into new geographical areas. Recently, there has been an emergence and re-emergence of neurotropic viruses across the world, many of which are transmitted by arthropods (arboviruses), and this poses a significant public health threat. One such virus is Chandipura virus (CHPV). CHPV has been implicated in recent epidemics of acute encephalitis in India with mortality rates in hospitalised children of over 50%.
CHPV is a member of the Vesiculovirus genus of the Rhabdoviridae family and contains an 11,119 nucleotides non-segmented, negative sense RNA genome. CHPV has a wide host range and can replicate in avian, mammalian and insect cells in culture, although the cytopathic effects seen following infection differ markedly. The virus is highly cytopathic within a few hours in mammalian cells and establishes a persistent infection with no cytopathic effects in insect cell lines.
The only known natural route of transmission of CHPV is by female phlebotomine sandflies. Serological studies have shown CHPV infection is widespread in India. CHPV has also been isolated in West Africa: from a hedgehog in northern Nigeria and from sandflies in Senegal.
Host cell factors are intrinsic to the lifecycles of all viruses, which by definition are obligate intracellular parasites, and therefore can determine the outcome of an infection. Essential host factors for CHPV are largely unknown. The critical involvement of host factors in the replication of vesiculoviruses was highlighted by the isolation of temperature-dependent host range (tdCE) mutants, which are characterised by growth impairment at 39°C in chick embryo (CE) cells but not in monkey cells (Gadkari and Pringle, 1980; Rasool and Pringle, 1986).
1. To determine the molecular basis of host range specificity in CHPV
2. To identify the host proteins involved in the tdCE phenomenon
3. To identify host cell proteins involved in the persistent CHPV infection of insect cells
4. To establish the cell tropism of CHPV
E dot L dot Stock at warwick dot ac dot uk