Positive strand RNA virus biology

Group leader: David Evans

Professor

Research overview

I am a virologist studying the biology of single stranded positive sense RNA viruses, including poliovirus, hepatitis C virus and deformed wing virus of honeybees. My current research focuses on the evolution, replication and pathogenesis of these viruses. 

Poliovirus no longer causes significant human mortality but is an exceptionally well characterised virus we use to study the molecular mechanism of recombination, an important evolutionary process exhibited by many other single stranded postiive sense RNA viruses. Our recent studies have demonstrated that recombination is a biphasic process, involving both a strand exchange recombination event and a secondary resolution event. The characteristics of intermediates in this event may explain 'evolution by duplication' in RNA viruses, in which partial regions of the genome become duplicated and then evolve independently.

Deformed wing virus (DWV) is the most important virus infecting honeybees and is responsible for the majority of overwintering colony losses. DWV is transmitted during feeding by the ectoparasitic mite Varroa to developing honeybee pupae. We have shown that mite-exposed pupae contain a near-clonal population of DWV present at very high levels. In contrast, pupae that have not been exposed to mites contain a low level of a highly diverse DWV population. We are currently investigating the molecular pathogenesis of the virulent strain of DWV and developing strategies to control the virus. 

Publications

Overview

Overview header image

Scientists associated with the thirty-two research groups that are affiliated with the Biomedical Sciences Research Complex perform highly innovative, multi-disciplinary research in eleven broad areas of biomedical research, employing state-of-the-art techniques to address key questions at the leading edge of the biomedical and biological sciences. The BSRC is grateful for funding from all funding agencies including the Institutional Strategic Support Fund from the Wellcome Trust.

Follow the links on the left to view individual research groups associated with one or more of the eleven BSRC research areas.

Research areas

Scientists associated with the thirty-two research groups that are affiliated with the Biomedical Sciences Research Complex perform highly innovative, multi-disciplinary research in eleven broad areas of biomedical research, employing state-of-the-art techniques to address key questions at the leading edge of the biomedical and biological sciences.

Follow the links on the left to view individual research groups associated with one or more of the eleven BSRC research areas.

Research by academic schools

Research in the BSRC is conducted by thirty-two independent research groups based in the Schools of Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Astronomy, and Medicine. Follow the links on the left to view groups associated with each school.