The Innate Immune Response to Ectromelia Virus Infection: Early Effector Mechanisms and Cell Types

Open Access
Beaver, Kathleen
Graduate Program:
Cell and Molecular Biology
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
Committee Members:
  • Christopher Charles Norbury, Thesis Advisor
  • inflammation
  • IL-1
  • ROS
  • ectromelia virus
  • evasion mechanisms
Our body has many mechanisms in place to deal with foreign pathogens. In particular, several cell types such as monocytes and NK cells and mechanisms such as the IFN and inflammatory responses are targeted at early detection and clearance of pathogens. Although these effector cells and mechanisms have been well studied in peripheral challenges such as HSV and VACV, less is know about their role in an immune response to an ECTV infection. The ECTV model of a peripheral challenge provides several advantages over VACV as ECTV can be studied in its natural host and the pathogenesis is a more accurate representation of a peripheral challenge in humans. Several key tools are available that allow for the efficient study of a peripheral challenge in this model such as resistant and susceptible strains of mice and virus encoded HRM. Using the ECTV model of a peripheral challenge in mice, we intent to further analyze the innate immune response. In particular, we aim to investigate the importance of monocytes/macrophages at the site of infection and the functions of these cells that contribute to ECTV resistance. We intend to study the role of inflammation as part of the innate response in an ECTV infection by analyzing the both the IL-1 and ROS responses. We expect that these studies will shed new light on of the early mechanisms required to mount a successful response against a peripheral challenge.