Multiple Cytomegalovirus Infections: Biological and Evolutionary Significance. [ 2006 - 2008 ]

Also known as: Multiple Cytomegalovirus Infections

Research Grant

[Cite as]

Researchers: Prof Geoffrey Shellam (Principal investigator) ,  A/Pr Alec Redwood Dr Lee Smith

Brief description This project involves the study of cytomegalovirus (CMV) a common viral infection of humans which normally cause little disease. However in individuals whose immune system is suppressed (such as AIDS patients or transplant recipients), or in infection of pregnant women, CMV can cause serious or life-threatening disease in the patient or foetus. An interesting feature of CMV diseases in such patients is that enhanced viral growth and more severe disease is frequently associated with the presence of multiple strains of CMV in the patient. We suggest that mixed CMV infections provide a survival advantage to the virus, with different strains within the mixed infection assisting the growth of other strains. This would result in increased virus growth overall, and enhanced disease. To study the mechanisms by which multiple infections with different CMV strains may affect both the virus and the host, experiments will be performed using an animal model of CMV, murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV). We will examine the effect of the presence of multiple strains of virus on virus growth and distribution within the infected host. We will also determine if functional MCMV strains are capable of assisting non-functional strains to survive within the host. These studies are relevant to the design of a CMV vaccine, and will be valuable in revealing the ways in which viruses can co-operate within an infection.

Funding Amount $AUD 555,776.41

Funding Scheme NHMRC Project Grants

Notes Standard Project Grant

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