Virulence determinants of encephalitic flaviviruses (2007–2010)
Murray Valley encephalitis, Japanese enecephaltis virus and West Nile virus are mosquito transmitted pathogens that cause severe and fatal neurological diseases in man and animals. Currenly, it is not clear why these viruses produce such severe diseases and therefore they are difficult to treat and prevent. In this project we will indentify the components of the viruses that allow them to invade the central nervous sytem and cause neurological symptoms. This will provide valuable information on critical elements of these pathogenic viruses that contribute to their virulence and will identify new candidate vaccines for prevention of the encephalitic diseases they cause.