Project: The guts of norovirus infection
The aim of the project is to culture and infect isolated intestine explants with norovirus. Intestine will be isolated from mice, sectioned and placed in a dish for culture before infection with murine norovirus (MNV). This approach will enable us to investigate how MNV infects enteric tissues, interacts with the microbiota and immune cells in the gut. We will visualise these interactions by immunofluorescence and determine the activation of the immune response via qRT-PCR for transcription of immune genes and the production of cytokines by ELISA. This approach is completely novel and will advance our research significantly.
The Mackenzie group investigates how viruses interact with the cells they infect. In particular the molecular and cellular processes that are manipulated by flaviviruses (dengue, Zika and West Nile viruses) and noroviruses for their own gain. We aim to understand how the intracellular events of virus replication result in innate immune evasion and ultimately how the consequences of infection result in a diseased state. Answering these questions will guide and inform us of areas for antiviral therapeutic development.