One Virology

Using pseudotyped viruses to study emerging viruses

Safely studying highly infectious viruses has always been challenging, but within One Virology we’re using pseudotyping to make new breakthroughs in the fight against Ebola and other viral diseases.

Pseudotyping is a process that enables us to produce viruses or viral vectors with the viral envelope proteins from a virus of interest. Because the proteins don’t contain enough genetic material to replicate, they’re relatively safe to work with in the laboratory and are enabling us to run several key projects shedding new light on emerging viruses.

Tracking viruses with reporter genes

The synthesis of reporter genes can be measured in several ways, giving us important new information on how viruses enter cells. For example, in luciferase reporter genes, light is emitted that can be accurately measured by a luminometer.

By incorporating reporter genes into a pseudotyped virus, we can see whether the virus has gained entry into a specific cell, as well as which proteins on the host cell surface are being used by the virus envelope proteins to gain entry. We can also test whether serum from a patient can neutralise the virus, and examine the effect of potential antivirals on inhibiting virus entry.

One Virology

University of Nottingham