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Identification of epitopes in the alphaviral envelope that confer infectivity for human and mosquito cells. (CHIMERA)
Most alphaviruses infect cells of both the vertebrate host and their insect vector. Little is known about the cellular receptors engaged by the viruses to enter the cells or the epitopes on the viral envelope that allow the receptor binding. With the identification of an alphavirus that has lost the capacity to infect human cells we have an ideal genetical tool to study these aspects. By allowing the virus to mutate, and by introducing targeted mutations in the viral envelope we will be able to identify the epitopes in the viral envelope that confer this dual human-mosquito tropism. The results will further allow to better understand the capacity of these viruses to adapt to novel hosts and be a starting point for the identification of novel cellular receptors that can be used by these viruses to infect humans.
Date:1 Jan 2018 → 31 Dec 2020