What makes phleboviruses tick? Examining the molecular interactions of tick-borne phleboviruses with their arthropod vector
Dr Benjamin Brennan
University of Glasgow
Ticks feed on the blood of multiple host species including humans which has enabled them to transmit many diseases, and cases of tick-borne diseases have been rising at an alarming rate. Despite this increase, we still do not fully understand how ticks transmit disease nor how arboviruses interact with ticks. One emerging arbovirus is the bunyavirus called SFTS phlebovirus (SFTSV).
I will use molecular tools to explore how tick-borne phleboviruses interact and modulate the immune system of ticks to spread to mammalian hosts. I will also investigate whether virus particles that originate from tick cells can induce more severe disease symptoms in mammalian hosts than those originating from mammalian cells.
My findings will increase our understanding of how arboviruses interact with ticks and how this interaction influences disease transmission.