Philip G Stevenson

University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

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Publications (93)514.52 Total impact

  • Cindy S E Tan, Philip G Stevenson
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    ABSTRACT: Viruses commonly infect the respiratory tract. Analyses of host defence have focussed on the lungs and the respiratory epithelium. Spontaneously inhaled Murid Herpesvirus-4 (MuHV-4) and Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) infect instead the olfactory epithelium, where neuronal cilia are exposed to environmental antigens and provide a route across the epithelial mucus. We used MuHV-4 to define how B cells respond to virus replication in this less well characterized site. Olfactory infection elicited generally weaker acute responses than lung infection, particularly in the spleen, reflecting slower viral replication and spread. Few virus-specific antibody-forming cells (AFCs) were found in the nasal-associated lymphoid tissue (NALT), a prominent response site for respiratory epithelial infection. Instead they appeared first in the superficial cervical lymph nodes. The focus of the AFC response then moved to the spleen, matching the geography of virus dissemination. Little virus-specific IgA response was detected until late on in the bone marrow. Neuroepithelial HSV-1 infection also elicited no significant AFC response in the NALT and a weak IgA response. Thus olfactory herpesvirus infection differed immunologically from an infection of the adjacent respiratory epithelium. Poor IgA induction may help herpesviruses to transmit via long-term mucosal shedding.
    Journal of virology. 09/2014;
  • Cindy S E Tan, Bruno Frederico, Philip G Stevenson
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    ABSTRACT: Herpesvirus transmission is sporadic, and infection may be asymptomatic or present only with secondary lesions after dissemination. Consequently host entry remains ill-understood. Experimental infections can be informative, but depend on inoculations that are inherently artificial and so need validation. Mice are a widely used experimental host. Alert mice inhale readily small (5μl) liquid volumes, and Indian ink, luciferase or radiolabel delivered thus distributed to the nasopharynx and oropharynx. Murid Herpesvirus-4 or Herpes simplex virus type 1 delivered thus infected only the nose, arguing that host entry is nasal rather than oral. Marker or virus delivery to the lung depended on general anesthesia and a large inoculum volume (30μl), and so needs further validation of physiological relevance. While lungs could be infected at lower doses than the upper respiratory tract, tracking experiments showed that nasal inocula pass mostly into the oropharynx, even when restricted to 1μl. Thus, the relative inefficiency of experimental upper respiratory tract infection was attributable to limited liquid retention in this site. Nonetheless low volume intranasal delivery to alert mice provides a convenient way to model experimentally an apparently natural mode of herpesvirus host entry.
    Journal of Virological Methods 06/2014; · 1.90 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Persistent infections are subject to constant surveillance by CD8+ cytotoxic T cells (CTL). Their control should therefore depend on MHC class I-restricted epitope presentation. Many epitopes are described for γ-herpesviruses and form a basis for prospective immunotherapies and vaccines. However the quantitative requirements of in vivo immune control for epitope presentation and recognition remain poorly defined. We used Murid Herpesvirus-4 (MuHV-4) to determine for a latently expressed viral epitope how MHC class-I binding and CTL functional avidity impact on host colonization. Tracking MuHV-4 recombinants that differed only in epitope presentation, we found little latitude for sub-optimal MHC class I binding before immune control failed. By contrast, control remained effective across a wide range of T cell functional avidities. Thus, we could define critical engagement thresholds for the in vivo immune control of virus-driven B cell proliferation.
    PLoS Pathogens 06/2014; 10(6):e1004220. · 8.14 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Gamma-herpesviruses (γHVs) are widespread oncogenic pathogens that chronically infect circulating lymphocytes. How they subvert the immune check-point function of the spleen to promote persistent infection is not clear. We show that Murid Herpesvirus-4 (MuHV-4) enters the spleen by infecting marginal zone (MZ) macrophages, which provided a conduit to MZ B cells. Relocation of MZ B cells to the white pulp allowed virus transfer to follicular dendritic cells. From here the virus reached germinal center B cells to establish persistent infection. Mice lacking MZ B cells, or treated with a sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor agonist to dislocate them, were protected against MuHV-4 colonization. MuHV-4 lacking ORF27, which encodes a glycoprotein necessary for efficient intercellular spread, could infect MZ macrophages but was impaired in long-term infection. Thus, MuHV-4, a γHV, exploits normal immune communication routes to spread by serial lymphoid/myeloid exchange.
    Cell host & microbe 04/2014; 15(4):457-70. · 13.02 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Lymphocyte colonization by gamma-herpesviruses (γHVs) is an important target for cancer prevention. However how it works is not clear. Epstein-Barr virus drives autonomous B cell proliferation in vitro, but in vivo may more subtly exploit the proliferative pathways provided by lymphoid germinal centers (GCs). Murid Herpesvirus-4 (MuHV-4), which realistically infects inbred mice, provides a useful tool with which to understand further how a γHV colonizes B cells in vivo. Not all γHVs necessarily behave the same, but common events can with MuHV-4 be assigned an importance for host colonization, and so a potential as therapeutic targets. MuHV-4-driven B cell proliferation depends quantitatively on CD4(+) T cell help. Here we show that it also depends on T cell-independent survival signals provided by the BAFF receptor (BAFF-R). B cells could be infected in BAFF-R(-/-) mice, but virus loads remained low. This corresponded to a BAFF-R-dependent defect in GC colonization. The close parallels between normal, antigen-driven B cell responses and virus-infected B cell proliferation argue that in vivo, γHVs mostly induce infected B cells into normal GC reactions, rather than generating large numbers of autonomously proliferating blasts.Importance γHVs cause cancers by driving the proliferation of infected cells. B cells are a particular target. Thus, we need to know how virus-driven B cell proliferation works. Controversy exists as to whether viral genes drive it directly, or less directly orchestrate the engagement of normal, host-driven pathways. Here we show that the B cell proliferation driven by a murid γHV requires BAFF-R. This supports the idea that γHVs exploit host proliferation pathways, and suggests that interfering with BAFF-R could more generally reduce γHV-associated B cell proliferation.
    Journal of Virology 02/2014; · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Human gammaherpesviruses are associated with the development of lymphomas and epithelial malignancies. The heterogeneity of these tumors reflects the ability of these viruses to route infection to different cell types at various stages of their lifecycle. While the Epstein Barr virus uses gp42 - human leukocyte antigen class II interaction as a switch of cell tropism, the molecular mechanism that orientates tropism of rhadinoviruses is still poorly defined. Here, we used bovine herpesvirus 4 (BoHV-4) to further elucidate how rhadinoviruses regulate their infectivity. In the absence of any gp42 homolog, BoHV-4 exploits the alternative splicing of its Bo10 gene to produce distinct viral populations that behave differently based on the originating cell. While epithelial cells produce virions with high levels of the accessory envelope protein gp180, encoded by a Bo10 spliced product, myeloid cells express reduced levels of gp180. As a consequence, virions grown in epithelial cells are hardly infectious for CD14+ circulating cells, but are relatively resistant to antibody neutralization due to the shielding property of gp180 for vulnerable entry epitopes. In contrast, myeloid virions readily infect CD14+ circulating cells but are easily neutralized. This molecular switch could therefore allow BoHV-4 to promote either, on the one hand, its dissemination into the organism, or, on the other hand, its transmission between hosts.
    PLoS Pathogens 10/2013; 9(10):e1003753. · 8.14 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Glycoprotein B (gB) is a conserved herpesvirus virion component implicated in membrane fusion. As with many - but not all - herpesviruses, the gB of murid herpesvirus 4 (MuHV-4) is cleaved into disulfide-linked subunits, apparently by furin. Preventing gB cleavage for some herpesviruses causes minor infection deficits in vitro, but what the cleavage contributes to host colonization has been unclear. To address this we mutated the furin cleavage site (R-R-K-R) of the MuHV-4 gB. Abolishing gB cleavage did not affect its expression levels, glycosylation or antigenic conformation. In vitro, mutant viruses entered fibroblasts and epithelial cells normally, but had a significant entry deficit in myeloid cells such as macrophages and bone marrow-derived dendritic cells. The deficit in myeloid cells was not due to reduced virion binding or endocytosis, suggesting that gB cleavage promotes infection at a post-endocytic entry step, presumably viral membrane fusion. In vivo, viruses lacking gB cleavage showed reduced lytic spread in the lungs. Alveolar epithelial cell infection was normal, but alveolar macrophage infection was significantly reduced. Normal long-term latency in lymphoid tissue was established nonetheless.
    Journal of Virology 07/2013; · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Herpes simplex type 1 (HSV-1) is a ubiquitous and important human pathogen. It is known to persist in trigeminal ganglia (TG), but how it reaches this site has been difficult to determine, as viral transmission is sporadic, pathogenesis is complicated, and early infection is largely asymptomatic. We used mice to compare the most likely natural HSV-1 host entry routes: oral and nasal. Intranasal infection was 100-fold more efficient than oral, and targeted predominantly the olfactory neuroepithelium. Live imaging of HSV-1-expressed luciferase showed infection progressing from the nose to the TG, then re-emerging in the facial skin. The brain remained largely luciferase-negative throughout. Infected cell tagging by viral cre recombinase expression in floxed reporter gene mice showed nasal virus routinely reaching the TG and only rarely reaching the olfactory bulbs. Thus HSV-1 spread from the olfactory neuroepithelium to the TG, and re-emerged peripherally without causing significant neurological disease. This recapitulation of typical clinical infection suggests that HSV-1 might sometimes also enter humans via the respiratory tract.
    Journal of Virology 07/2013; · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Transmission is a matter of life or death for pathogen lineages and can therefore be considered as the main motor of their evolution. Gammaherpesviruses are archetypal pathogenic persistent viruses which have evolved to be transmitted in presence of specific immune response. Identifying their mode of transmission and their mechanisms of immune evasion is therefore essential to develop prophylactic and therapeutic strategies against these infections. As the known human gammaherpesviruses, Epstein-Barr virus and Kaposi's Sarcoma-associated Herpesvirus are host-specific and lack a convenient in vivo infection model; related animal gammaherpesviruses, such as murine gammaherpesvirus-68 (MHV-68), are commonly used as general models of gammaherpesvirus infections in vivo. To date, it has however never been possible to monitor viral excretion or virus transmission of MHV-68 in laboratory mice population. In this study, we have used MHV-68 associated with global luciferase imaging to investigate potential excretion sites of this virus in laboratory mice. This allowed us to identify a genital excretion site of MHV-68 following intranasal infection and latency establishment in female mice. This excretion occurred at the external border of the vagina and was dependent on the presence of estrogens. However, MHV-68 vaginal excretion was not associated with vertical transmission to the litter or with horizontal transmission to female mice. In contrast, we observed efficient virus transmission to naïve males after sexual contact. In vivo imaging allowed us to show that MHV-68 firstly replicated in penis epithelium and corpus cavernosum before spreading to draining lymph nodes and spleen. All together, those results revealed the first experimental transmission model for MHV-68 in laboratory mice. In the future, this model could help us to better understand the biology of gammaherpesviruses and could also allow the development of strategies that could prevent the spread of these viruses in natural populations.
    PLoS Pathogens 04/2013; 9(4):e1003292. · 8.14 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Herpesviruses are ubiquitous pathogens that cause much disease. The difficulty of clearing their established infections makes host entry an important target for control. However, while herpesviruses have been studied extensively in vitro, how they cross differentiated mucus-covered epithelia in vivo is unclear. To establish general principles we tracked host entry by Murid Herpesvirus-4 (MuHV-4), a lymphotropic rhadinovirus related to the Kaposi's Sarcoma-associated Herpesvirus. Spontaneously acquired virions targeted the olfactory neuroepithelium. Like many herpesviruses, MuHV-4 binds to heparan sulfate (HS), and virions unable to bind HS showed poor host entry. While the respiratory epithelium expressed only basolateral HS and was bound poorly by incoming virions, the neuroepithelium also displayed HS on its apical neuronal cilia and was bound strongly. Incoming virions tracked down the neuronal cilia, and either infected neurons or reached the underlying microvilli of the adjacent glial (sustentacular) cells and infected them. Thus the olfactory neuroepithelium provides an important and complex site of HS-dependent herpesvirus uptake.
    PLoS Pathogens 11/2012; 8(11):e1002986. · 8.14 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Gamma-herpesviruses persist in lymphocytes and cause disease by driving their proliferation. Lymphocyte infection is therefore a key pathogenetic event. Murid Herpesvirus-4 (MuHV-4) is a rhadinovirus that like the related Kaposi's Sarcoma-associated Herpesvirus persists in B cells in vivo yet infects them poorly in vitro. Here we used MuHV-4 to understand how virion tropism sets the path to lymphocyte colonization. Virions that were highly infectious in vivo showed a severe post-binding block to B cell infection. Host entry was accordingly an epithelial infection and B cell infection a secondary event. Macrophage infection by cell-free virions was also poor, but improved markedly when virion binding improved or when macrophages were co-cultured with infected fibroblasts. Under the same conditions B cell infection remained poor; it improved only when virions came from macrophages. This reflected better cell penetration and correlated with antigenic changes in the virion fusion complex. Macrophages were seen to contact acutely infected epithelial cells, and cre/lox-based virus tagging showed that almost all the virus recovered from lymphoid tissue had passed through lysM(+) and CD11c(+) myeloid cells. Thus MuHV-4 reached B cells in 3 distinct stages: incoming virions infected epithelial cells; infection then passed to myeloid cells; glycoprotein changes then allowed B cell infection. These data identify new complexity in rhadinovirus infection and potentially also new vulnerability to intervention.
    PLoS Pathogens 09/2012; 8(9):e1002935. · 8.14 Impact Factor
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    Daniel L Glauser, Laurent Gillet, Philip G Stevenson
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    ABSTRACT: Herpesviruses consistently transmit from immunocompetent carriers, implying that their neutralization is hard to achieve. Murid herpesvirus-4 (MuHV-4) exploits host IgG Fc receptors to bypass blocks to cell binding, and pH-dependent protein conformation changes to unveil its fusion machinery only after endocytosis. Nevertheless, neutralization remains possible by targeting the virion glycoprotein H (gH)-gL heterodimer, and the neutralizing antibody responses of MuHV-4 carriers are improved by boosting with recombinant gH-gL. We analysed here how gH-gL-directed neutralization works. The MuHV-4 gH-gL binds to heparan sulfate. However, most gH-gL-specific neutralizing antibodies did not block this interaction; neither did they act directly on fusion. Instead, they blocked virion endocytosis and transport to the late endosomes, where membrane fusion normally occurs. The poor endocytosis of gH-gL-neutralized virions was recapitulated precisely by virions genetically lacking gL. Therefore, driving virion uptake appears to be an important function of gH-gL that provides a major target for antibody-mediated neutralization.
    Journal of General Virology 02/2012; 93(Pt 6):1316-27. · 3.13 Impact Factor
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    Daniel L Glauser, Anne-Sophie Kratz, Philip G Stevenson
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    ABSTRACT: Herpesvirus entry is a complicated process involving multiple virion glycoproteins and culminating in membrane fusion. Glycoprotein conformation changes are likely to play key roles. Studies of recombinant glycoproteins have revealed some structural features of the virion fusion machinery. However, how the virion glycoproteins change during infection remains unclear. Here using conformation-specific monoclonal antibodies we show in situ that each component of the Murid Herpesvirus-4 (MuHV-4) entry machinery--gB, gH/gL and gp150--changes in antigenicity before tegument protein release begins. Further changes then occurred upon actual membrane fusion. Thus virions revealed their final fusogenic form only in late endosomes. The substantial antigenic differences between this form and that of extracellular virions suggested that antibodies have only a limited opportunity to block virion membrane fusion.
    PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(1):e30152. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The core entry machinery of mammalian herpesviruses comprises glycoprotein B (gB), gH, and gL. gH and gL form a heterodimer with a central role in viral membrane fusion. When archetypal alpha- or betaherpesviruses lack gL, gH misfolds and progeny virions are noninfectious. However, the gL of the rhadinovirus murid herpesvirus 4 (MuHV-4) is nonessential for infection. In order to define more generally what role gL plays in rhadinovirus infections, we disrupted its coding sequence in bovine herpesvirus 4 (BoHV-4). BoHV-4 lacking gL showed altered gH glycosylation and incorporated somewhat less gH into virions but remained infectious. However, gL(-) virions showed poor growth associated with an entry deficit. Moreover, a major part of their entry defect appeared to reflect impaired endocytosis, which occurs upstream of membrane fusion itself. Thus, the rhadinovirus gL may be more important for driving virion endocytosis than for incorporating gH into virions, and it is nonessential for membrane fusion.
    Journal of Virology 12/2011; 86(5):2653-64. · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: All gammaherpesviruses encode a major glycoprotein homologous to the Epstein-Barr virus gp350. These glycoproteins are often involved in cell binding, and some provide neutralization targets. However, the capacity of gammaherpesviruses for long-term transmission from immune hosts implies that in vivo neutralization is incomplete. In this study, we used Bovine Herpesvirus 4 (BoHV-4) to determine how its gp350 homolog--gp180--contributes to virus replication and neutralization. A lack of gp180 had no impact on the establishment and maintenance of BoHV-4 latency, but markedly sensitized virions to neutralization by immune sera. Antibody had greater access to gB, gH and gL on gp180-deficient virions, including neutralization epitopes. Gp180 appears to be highly O-glycosylated, and removing O-linked glycans from virions also sensitized them to neutralization. It therefore appeared that gp180 provides part of a glycan shield for otherwise vulnerable viral epitopes. Interestingly, this O-glycan shield could be exploited for neutralization by lectins and carbohydrate-specific antibody. The conservation of O-glycosylation sites in all gp350 homologs suggests that this is a general evasion mechanism that may also provide a therapeutic target.
    PLoS Pathogens 11/2011; 7(11):e1002387. · 8.14 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Dendritic cells (DCs) play a central role in initiating immune responses. Some persistent viruses infect DCs and can disrupt their functions in vitro. However, these viruses remain strongly immunogenic in vivo. Thus what role DC infection plays in the pathogenesis of persistent infections is unclear. Here we show that a persistent, B cell-tropic gamma-herpesvirus, Murid Herpesvirus-4 (MuHV-4), infects DCs early after host entry, before it establishes a substantial infection of B cells. DC-specific virus marking by cre-lox recombination revealed that a significant fraction of the virus latent in B cells had passed through a DC, and a virus attenuated for replication in DCs was impaired in B cell colonization. In vitro MuHV-4 dramatically altered the DC cytoskeleton, suggesting that it manipulates DC migration and shape in order to spread. MuHV-4 therefore uses DCs to colonize B cells.
    PLoS Pathogens 11/2011; 7(11):e1002346. · 8.14 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Glycoprotein B (gB) is a conserved, essential component of gammaherpes virions and so potentially vulnerable to neutralization. However, few good gB-specific neutralizing antibodies have been identified. Here, we show that murid herpesvirus 4 is strongly neutralized by mAbs that recognize an epitope close to one of the gB fusion loops. Antibody binding did not stop gB interacting with its cellular ligands or initiating its fusion-associated conformation change, but did stop gB resolving stably to its post-fusion form, and so blocked membrane fusion to leave virions stranded in late endosomes. The conservation of gB makes this mechanism a possible general route to gammaherpesvirus neutralization.
    Journal of General Virology 05/2011; 92(Pt 9):2020-33. · 3.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The difficulty of eliminating herpesvirus carriage makes host entry a key target for infection control. However, its viral requirements are poorly defined. Murid herpesvirus-4 (MuHV-4) can potentially provide insights into gammaherpesvirus host entry. Upper respiratory tract infection requires the MuHV-4 thymidine kinase (TK) and ribonucleotide reductase large subunit (RNR-L), suggesting a need for increased nucleotide production. However, both TK and RNR-L are likely to be multifunctional. We therefore tested further the importance of nucleotide production by disrupting the MuHV-4 ribonucleotide reductase small subunit (RNR-S). This caused a similar attenuation to RNR-L disruption: despite reduced intra-host spread, invasive inoculations still established infection, whereas a non-invasive upper respiratory tract inoculation did so only at high dose. Histological analysis showed that RNR-S(-), RNR-L(-) and TK(-) viruses all infected cells in the olfactory neuroepithelium but unlike wild-type virus then failed to spread. Thus captured host nucleotide metabolism enzymes, up to now defined mainly as important for alphaherpesvirus reactivation in neurons, also have a key role in gammaherpesvirus host entry. This seemed to reflect a requirement for lytic replication to occur in a terminally differentiated cell before a viable pool of latent genomes could be established.
    Journal of General Virology 04/2011; 92(Pt 7):1550-60. · 3.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: All gammaherpesviruses encode a glycoprotein positionally homologous to the Epstein-Barr virus gp350 and the Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) K8.1. In this study, we characterized the positional homologous glycoprotein of bovine herpesvirus 4 (BoHV-4), encoded by the Bo10 gene. We identified a 180-kDa gene product, gp180, that was incorporated into the virion envelope. A Bo10 deletion virus was viable but showed a growth deficit associated with reduced binding to epithelial cells. This seemed to reflect an interaction of gp180 with glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), since compared to the wild-type virus, the Bo10 mutant virus was both less infectious for GAG-positive (GAG(+)) cells and more infectious for GAG-negative (GAG(-)) cells. However, we could not identify a direct interaction between gp180 and GAGs, implying that any direct interaction must be of low affinity. This function of gp180 was very similar to that previously identified for the murid herpesvirus 4 gp150 and also to that of the Epstein-Barr virus gp350 that promotes CD21(+) cell infection and inhibits CD21(-) cell infection. We propose that such proteins generally regulate virion attachment both by binding to cells and by covering another receptor-binding protein until they are displaced. Thus, they regulate viral tropism both positively and negatively depending upon the presence or absence of their receptor.
    Journal of Virology 11/2010; 85(2):1011-24. · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    Janet S May, Philip G Stevenson
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    ABSTRACT: Herpesviruses characteristically disseminate from immune hosts. Therefore in the context of natural infection, antibody neutralizes them poorly. Murid herpesvirus-4 (MuHV-4) provides a tractable model with which to understand gammaherpesvirus neutralization. MuHV-4 virions blocked for cell binding by immune sera remain infectious for IgG-Fc receptor(+) myeloid cells, so broadly neutralizing antibodies must target the virion fusion complex - glycoprotein B (gB) or gH/gL. While gB-specific neutralizing antibodies are rare, its domains I+II (gB-N) contain at least one potent neutralization epitope. Here, we tested whether immunization with recombinant gB presenting this epitope could induce neutralizing antibodies in naive mice and protect them against MuHV-4 challenge. Immunizing with the full-length gB extracellular domain induced a strong gB-specific antibody response and reduced MuHV-4 lytic replication but did not induce detectable neutralization. gB-N alone, which more selectively displayed pre-fusion epitopes including neutralization epitopes, also failed to induce neutralizing responses, and while viral lytic replication was again reduced this depended completely on IgG Fc receptors. gB and gB-N also boosted neutralizing responses in only a minority of carrier mice. Therefore, it appears that neutralizing epitopes on gB are intrinsically difficult for the immune response to target.
    Journal of General Virology 10/2010; 91(Pt 10):2542-52. · 3.13 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

3k Citations
514.52 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2014
    • University of Queensland
      Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
  • 2000–2014
    • University of Cambridge
      • Department of Pathology
      Cambridge, England, United Kingdom
  • 2010–2013
    • University of Liège
      • Faculté de Médecine Vétérinaire
      Liège, WAL, Belgium
  • 1998–2006
    • St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
      • Department of Immunology
      Memphis, TN, United States
  • 2003
    • University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust
      Southampton, England, United Kingdom