Thursday, December 19, 2013 - 12:00
Specific location: 
Room 343

Hulda Rún Jónsdóttir PhD candidate in virology at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, ETH Zurich will give a talk about "Novel human system for analysis of coronavirus-host interactions" this Thursday, 19th of December at 12:00 in room 343, Læknagarður. Co-authors and instrutors are Ronald Dijkman1, Regulo Rodriguez2 and Volker Thiel1 at 1Institute of Immunobiology, and 2Institute of Pathology, Cantonal Hospital St.Gallen, St.Gallen, Switzerland.

Abstract: Human airways serve as the entry point of many human respiratory viruses, including rhinoviruses, influenza and human coronaviruses (HCoVs). Advances in isolation and cultivation of primary human lung epithelial cells have enabled careful studies of human respiratory viruses in an air-liquid-interface culture system (HAE-cultures) that morphologically and functionally resemble the upper-conducting airways in vivo. After differentiation these cultures contain many different cell types such as basal, ciliated and goblet cells. These cultures have already been used successfully to study various respiratory viruses, such as Influenza, SARS-CoV and HCoV-HKU1.

Coronaviruses (CoVs) are well known pathogens mainly associated with respiratory and enteric disease. The four CoVs that commonly infect humans (HCoV-229E, OC43, NL63 and HKU1) are detected worldwide and believed to be responsible for roughly 6% of all upper and lower respiratory tract infections. Despite high incidence, our knowledge of CoV host immune response is still limited and approaches to establish animal models for HCoV infection are limited to SARS-CoV. Therefore, organotypic HAE cultures offer a unique platform to study HCoV infection in human airway epithelial cells.

Basic host-virus interactions are still preferentially studied in animals where transgenic or knock-out strains are available. The most widely used model is the murine model of virus infection that enables the use of different transgenic and knock-out strains. Therefore, to fully utilize the potential of the HAE-cultures the system must be made amenable to genetic modification with lentiviral vectors for transgene expression and knock-down of host gene expression. Therefore, a method of transduction must be developed. Differentiated HAE cultures are refractory to apical and basolateral transduction with lentiviral vectors. However, undifferentiated cells are readily transduced in suspension with high efficacy. Transgene expression remains stable during differentiation and does not affect cellular composition of the cultures. Genetically modified HAE cultures will enable us to study host responses to HCoV infection and gain insight into the molecular biology of human respiratory viruses.


Íslenskur titill: Þróun frumuræktunarlíkans til rannsókna á sýkingarferli kóronaveira í mönnum

Námsferill Huldu: 

B.Sc í Sameindalíffræði frá Háskólanum í Bergen, 2010.


M.Sc í Líf- og Læknavísindum frá Háskóla Íslands, 2012.

Labbi: SCRU, Leiðbeinendur: Þórarinn Guðjónsson og Magnús Karl Magnússon.

Verkefni: Epithelial to mesenchymal transition in human lung epithelial cells.


PhD í Líffræði/Veirufræði frá ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology), 2012-2016.

Verkefni: Reverse genetic analysis of coronavirus induced innate immune response.

Leiðbeinendur: Volker Thiel og Ronald Dijkman.  


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