The laboratory for antiviral immunity investigates the interference of viruses with the innate immune system. Interferon antagonists of Picorna- and Arteriviruses are identified and the underlying mechanisms of type-I interferon signaling pathway inhibition are analyzed. The results of this work provide a basis for the establishment of virus mutants with impaired ability to interfere with the innate immune system. The mutants are characterized in detail to understand the mechanisms of immunmodulation and to generate attenuated virus variants that could be used as vaccines.
In parallel, the vector vaccine platform based on ORFV-Strain D1701-V (established by Achim Rziha, laboratory for molecular immunpathogenesis) is continued. ORFV-recombinants are generated, characterized and the induced immune response is analyzed.