Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
Over onsNieuws en agendaNieuwsberichten

Colloquium Computer Science Professor Gyan Bhanot, Rutgers University, USA

17 June 2013

Date:                           Monday, June 17th 2013
Speaker:                     Professor Gyan Bhanot, Rutgers University, USA
Room:                         5161.0267 (Bernoulliborg)
Time:                          16.00

Title: FLU Pandemics, past, present and future.


Abstract:

Viruses are obligate parasites, needing hosts to survive, replicate and proliferate. Because of a high mutation rate and lack of error correction machinery, viral genomes evolve rapidly and become exquisitely adapted to specific hosts. However, spillovers between species are common. When such events occur, they can cause pandemics. As an example of this general theme, I will describe how the H1N1 Influenza A virus, which entered the human reservoir from birds, has adapted and evolved in humans since 1918. A study of viral sequences in humans shows that H1N1, while remaining highly infective, is evolving to become less visible to the immune system, thereby gradually coming to equilibrium (reducing its pathogenicity) in human hosts. It does so by changing the frequencies of certain sequence combinations in its RNA in a context dependent manner. Using oligonucleotides to infect dendritic cells, we showed that this effect can be traced to Toll-like receptors. As a second example, we will study the H5N1 virus, which caused a mini-pandemic a few years ago. This virus is also lethal in humans, but seems not to be transmissible between humans. A comparative study of H5N1 viral amino sequences in humans and birds shows that specific residues at loci on the HA protein are necessary for the virus to infect humans. Further, birds that become infected in spite of inoculation, have viral strains that do not have these mutations in the viral strains infecting humans. This suggests that inoculation of poultry may be a mechanism to keep the virus away from infecting humans. Our studies raise some novel hypotheses about how to approach emerging pandemics.

Colloquium coordinators are Prof.dr. M. Aiello (e-mail : M.Aiello@rug.nl ) and

Prof.dr. M. Biehl (e-mail: M.Biehl@rug.nl )

http://www.rug.nl/research/jbi/news/colloquia/computerscience

Last modified:07 June 2018 10.59 a.m.

More news

  • 18 October 2018

    Access control in the University Library City Centre

    In November the access gates in the University Library City Centre will be tested. If this test proves to be satisfactory, the access gates will be permanently activated.

  • 16 October 2018

    Digital Society Conference Dutch universities

    Digital information technology is permeating society ever deeper. It is now clear that digitalization will radically change virtually every aspect of society, not only in the Netherlands but across the world. That is why 14 Dutch universities, associated...

  • 09 October 2018

    What the world really needs to know about leadership

    ‘Do you know how often organizations select the wrong manager?’, asks Janka Stoker. ‘Recent research carried out by Gallup shows that this happens in a staggering 82% of cases! These managers were often chosen just because they happened to be very...