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Getting by with a little help from their friends: how bacteria aid virus infection

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Air date: Wednesday, May 8, 2019, 3:00:00 PM
Time displayed is Eastern Time, Washington DC Local
Views: Total views: 211, (119 Live, 92 On-demand)
Category: WALS - Wednesday Afternoon Lectures
Runtime: 01:01:12
Description: NIH Director's Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series

Enteric viruses encounter a vast microbial community in the mammalian digestive tract prior to initiating infection. Dr. Pfeiffer and her colleagues found that gut microbes are required for replication and pathogenesis of two unrelated mammalian enteric viruses, poliovirus, and reovirus. Similarly, other groups have demonstrated that a mouse retrovirus and norovirus also rely on intestinal microbiota for replication. A common theme has emerged: Enteric viruses bind bacterial surface polysaccharides. Dr. Pfeiffer's lab found that exposure to bacteria or bacterial surface polysaccharides enhanced viral stability and cell attachment, providing one mechanism by which intestinal microbiota promote enteric virus infection. Virion stabilization by bacteria may be important for transmission since a mutant poliovirus with reduced binding to bacteria had a fecal-oral transmission defect due to virion instability in feces. Additionally, Dr. Pfeiffer's lab has visualized virion-bacteria interactions using electron microscopy and found that each bacterium binds several poliovirus or reovirus virions. The lab has also demonstrated that bacteria can deliver multiple virions to host cells to initiate infection. In fact, virion-bound bacteria are likely transmitted between hosts, which may redefine the viral “infectious unit.”

The Khoury Lecture is organized by NIH scientists to honor the memory of Dr. George Khoury, who was highly regarded as a superb scientist and caring mentor of the postdoctoral fellows in his laboratory. This annual lecture is part of the Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series. Speakers are selected by a committee led by Dr. Eric Freed, NCI-CCR. This lecture will be followed by a reception in the NIH Library. Special thanks to the Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences (FAES) for its support of the weekly reception. FAES is proud to co-sponsor with the NIH in hosting the Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series.

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Author: Julie Pfeiffer, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Microbiology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
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CIT Live ID: 31979
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