The Univeristy of Melbourne The Royal Melbourne Hopspital

A joint venture between The University of Melbourne and The Royal Melbourne Hospital


Research Projects

Project: Vertical transmission of Ross River virus in mosquito vectors

Fazakerley Group

Alphaviruses, such as Ross River virus, chikungunya and Semliki Forest virus, are transmitted between susceptible vertebrate hosts by mosquito vectors. In vertebrates, these viruses initiate acute infections characterised by high virus production and brain or joint disease. In contrast, when a mosquito becomes infected, the virus establishes a persistent infection; there is no apparent effect on mosquito fitness and the mosquito transmits virus for the rest of its life. Using recombinant alphaviruses expressing fluorescent proteins, this project will look at aspects of the immune response in mosquitoes and the possibility that virus is transmitted vertically down the generations. Tools and techniques being used will include recombinant viruses, microscopy, cell culture and insect work.

Contact project supervisor for further
information and application enquiries

Project Supervisor

Dr Julio Rodriguez-Andres 

Project Co-supervisor

Professor John Fazakerley

Project availability
Master of Biomedical Science

Fazakerley Group

3 vacancies

Viral Infectious Diseases
Host Pathogens Interactions
Cross Cutting Disciplines
Discovery Research

The Fazakerley group’s main interest is in the pathogenesis of infections caused by RNA viruses, in particular vector-borne (arbovirus) alphaviruses infections of the central nervous system and insect vectors. Our main focus is to dissect the immune mechanisms during viral encephalitis and virus persistence in the central nervous system. We also investigate the arthropod responses to alphaviruses and study their transmission in mosquito vectors. 

Fazakerley Group Current Projects