Anna K. Overby

Thursday, 15 November 2018 | 12:00 noon

Department of Clinical Microbiology, Virology, Laboratory of Molecular Medicine Sweden (MIMS), Umeå University, SWEDEN

Tick-borne encephalitis virus and the antiviral interferon system

(Host: A. Muro)

 Tick borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) is an important humanpathogen. The virus infection causes a spectrum of symptomsranging from mild infections to more severe symptoms suchas meningitis, encephalitis, and hemorrhagic fever associatedwith high mortality rates. Specific antiviral drugs are notavailable and treatment is limited to supportive care. Althoughan effective vaccine is available, the number of clinical TBEcases is increasing.TBEV belong to the family of flaviviruses. Clearance of otherflaviviruses has been associated with a key player of innateimmunity, the antiviral interferon system. However, theinteractions of TBEV with the interferon system are onlypoorly characterized.

Following virus infection of the hostcell, double stranded RNA, which is produced as a side-product of replication, is recognized by pattern recognitionreceptors. This recognition subsequently leads to activation oftranscription factors which induces IFN production. Secretionof IFN causes neighboring cells to produce IFN-stimulatedgenes (ISGs) with a potent antiviral effect. My group aims to identify how TBEV induces IFN, theimportance of IFN in vitro and in vivo and what antiviralISGs are responsible for the antiviral effect of IFN. In order toidentify alternative and new antiviral approaches against TBEVand other flaviviruses.