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Iresha Ambepitiya Wickramasinghe

Wednesday 9 September 2015

Tissue interactions of avian viral attachment proteins

Promotor: Prof. dr. A. Gröne
Defence: 9 September 2015

Tissue interactions of avian viral attachment proteins

Viral and host factors that enable the attachment of a virus to the target host cell are crucial in defining viral tropism. This thesis was aimed to identify these factors for avian coronaviruses in view of understanding the mechanism behind viral tropism. To this end several novel methods were established to study the first step in the avian coronavirus infection cycle.

Avian coronaviruses appear to have a rather broad virus tropism and pathogenicity by inducing disease in many different organ systems including the respiratory, gastrointestinal and urogenital system. In contrast to chicken coronaviruses, which primarily causes respiratory disease but as well disseminates to other organs, the coronaviruses in turkey, guineafowl and quail appear only to infect the gastrointestinal systems. Understanding the viral tropism and host range of these viruses can improve our knowledge in implementing prevention and control measures and developing novel antivirals.