[Cite as http://purl.org/au-research/grants/nhmrc/303204]
Prof Mariapia Degli-Esposti
A/Pr Anthony Scalzo
Prof Mark Smyth
Brief description In humans, cytomegalovirus infection can cause severe disease and may even be fatal in individuals with immature or compromised immune systems, such as newborns, AIDS patients, transplant recipients and people treated with chemotherapeutic drugs. The majority of healthy individuals however can clear the infection with minimal disease. The ability of cytomegalovirus to cause disease is increased in the absence of effective immune responses which would normally clear the virus before illness occurs. Understanding the role of specific mediators of anti-viral immune responses is therefore of paramount importance in establishing the guidelines for the design of more effective anti-viral therapies. The mouse model of cytomegalovirus infection provides a unique system to dissect the roles of specific components of the immune response during the course of viral infection. Our previous studies have shown that anti-viral immune responses are complex and involve a multitude of players. The central aim of the work in the current proposal is to establish the precise contribution of specific molecular effectors and regulators of anti-viral immune responses and define their relevance during the different stages of viral infection. Hence, the results of these studies will be relevant to understanding the pathogenesis of cytomegalovirus infection in humans and more importantly will provide critical insights into the rational design of improved antiviral drugs and vaccines. Since the molecules and cells under investigation are also known to play a crucial role in immune responses that control tumour growth and transplant survival, the proposed studies will provide valuable insight towards the development of new therapies for pathologies associated not only with cytomegalovirus infection, but also with the conditions named above.
Funding Amount $AUD 447,750.00
Funding Scheme NHMRC Project Grants
Standard Project Grant