Modulation of NK cells by alpha herpes viruses with the aim of optimizing vaccines and virotherapy

01 January 2015 → 31 December 2018
Regional and community funding: IWT/VLAIO
Research disciplines
  • Medical and health sciences
    • Innate immunity
    • Vaccinology
    • Virology
alphaherpesvirus NK cell natural killer
Project description

Natural killer (NK) cells are important cells in the innate defence against viral infections, particularly in the context of herpesvirus infections. Despite their importance, relatively little is known about the mechanisms by which NK cells are activated by herpesviruses and the potential of targeting NK cells for vaccination and/or virotherapy purposes. The current research proposal, which will make use of the pig and the porcine alphaherpesvirus pseudorabies virus as a model, aims at investigating which viral factors contribute to the activation of NK cells by alphaherpesviruses and whether NK cells display specific features that may be of particular relevance in the context of e.g. vaccination strategies (like antigen presenting capacities).