Arboviruses and mechanisms of cellular immunity

Emerging arboviruses are a global threat. We are exploring new anti-viral strategies based on the capacity of the arthropod vectors to resist infection. 

A significant increase of new and re-emerging pathogenic viruses has been observed during the last decades. Emerging Arboviruses (Arthropod-borne viruses) currently represent a global threat. Socio-demographic and climate changes are favoring the dissemination of their vectors, mainly mosquitoes and ticks. There are no vaccines or efficient treatments for most arbovirosis. Arboviruses trigger a highly cytopathic infection in mammalian cells but cause little damage to cells from their arthropod vectors. We have discovered that mosquito cells infected with an arbovirus synthesize specific factors that trap viral proteins involved in viral genome replication. We are currently working to identify these factors to understand how mosquito cells keep infection under control.

Fernández de Castro et al., Cellular Microbiology 2013; López-Montero et al., Cellular Microbiology 2011.