The anguillid herpesvirus: characterising a slippery agent
Herpes viruses occur in humans, mammals and fish, but scientists currently know relatively little about herpes viruses in fish. In his doctoral research, Doctoral Candidate Steven van Beurden examined the anguillid herpesvirus 1, or AngHV1, and in so doing laid the foundation for the development of diagnostic tests and vaccines for the eel farming sector.
The anguillid herpesvirus is the most common virus among wild and farmed eels, but it poses absolutely no danger to humans. In farmed eels, infection results in lesions to the skin, fins and gills, as well as retarded growth and increased mortality. AngHV1 is probably also partly responsible for the dramatic decrease in numbers of wild eels since the 1980s.
In his research, Van Beurden examined the genetic characteristics and protein structures of AngHV1 and found that the virus has a relatively large amount of genetic material that can activate and deactivate more than 100 genes. As in mammalian herpes viruses, activating these genes creates a domino effect in which the activated genes go on to activate other genes. One of the AngHV1 virus’ most interesting genes is one that resembles the host’s anti-inflammation protein interleukin-10. This in turn activates the genes that code for proteins that create new building blocks for the virus. So far, 40 different structural proteins have been identified for AngHV1.
Although the various herpes virus families display very few genetic similarities, Van Beurden explains that they do seem to display certain common basic biological characteristics.
|Date and time:
||University Hall, Domplein 29, Utrecht
||Steven van Beurden
||Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
||Molecular characterization of the alloherpesvirus anguillid herpesvirus 1
||Prof. P.J.M. Rottier, PhD
||Dr. ir. M.Y. Engelsma
||Dr. B.P.H. Peeters