Influenza – pathogenesis and vaccine development
Project Team: Yan Zhou, A. Gaba, L. Liu, H. Park, M. Hlasny, F. Wang, Y. Lu, S. Landreth
Influenza A viruses continue to pose a severe threat worldwide. The main difficulty in defending against influenza virus infection is the high genetic variability of the virus. This results in the rapid generation of reassortant viruses that either gain resistance to antiviral agents or escape immunity against previous strains.
Our research is focused on influenza virus-host interactions in order to determine novel targets for antiviral and vaccine development. This includes genetically altering influenza viruses by reverse genetic technology to study how viral genes and gene products activate cellular signalling pathways and how these pathways regulate virus propagation and pathogenesis. We also focused on identifying host factors that interact with viral proteins and study the mechanisms by which these factors regulate virus infection. Research has been used to generate a live attenuated virus based vaccine for swine influenza which has been tested for pathogenicity, immunogenicity and protection efficacy in pigs.