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Cellular factors and pathways in the entry of Bunyaviridae

Final Report Summary - BUNYAVIRIDAE ENTRY (Cellular factors and pathways in the entry of Bunyaviridae)

The Bunyaviridae constitute a large family of enveloped animal viruses, many members of which cause serious diseases in humans. Currently there are no available vaccines or treatments. However, relatively little is known about Bunyaviridae. Their strategies for transmission and infection remain largely uncharacterized. The main objective of this proposal was to investigate the transmission and infection mechanisms used by these viruses to contaminate host.
To achieve this aim, we utilized Uukuniemi virus (UUKV), a non-pathogenic bunyavirus classified in the Phlebovirus genus, as a model virus to study entry of bunyaviruses into mammalian cells. We developed reliable and accurate microscopy- and FACS-based assays to study UUKV infection, endocytosis, and membrane fusion in fixed and living animal host cells. We combined all these assays with a large panel of perturbants of cellular entry pathways. Together these approaches allowed us to carry out the objectives of this project.