Molecular tagging of the dengue virus genome

This honours in molecular and biomedical science project involves molecular tagging of the dengue virus genome.

Dengue virus (DENV) is the most common mosquito-borne viral pathogen that infects humans. It is estimated that there are approximately 230 million DENV infections worldwide each year.

Of these approximately 500,000 infections cause dengue hemorrhagic fever, resulting in more than 20,000 deaths. There is no available vaccine or effective antiviral drugs.

In recent studies we have employed transposon-based insertion mutagenesis in an infectious DENV isolate and next-generation sequencing analysis of viable mutant virus pools to identify regions in the DENV genome and encoded proteins that may tolerate insertion of reporter proteins with minimal impact on virus replication.

In this project we will use this information to generate tagged viruses encoding insertions of specialised reporter proteins for live cell imaging, electron microscopy and proteomics applications to further understand the role of DENV proteins in the pathogenesis of disease.

Together the understanding and tools developed in this project may contribute towards development of effective antivirals that target DENV.

Associate Professor Michael Beard

Supervisors

Associate Professor Michael Beard

Co-supervisor: Dr Nicholas Eyre

Research area: Viral pathogenesis, Research Centre for Infectious Diseases

Recommended honours enrolment: Honours in Molecular and Biomedical Science

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