Project: Research project

Project Details


Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is a major opportunistic pathogen and the
cause of congenital disease and a range of debilitating diseases in
immunocompromised patients. Extensive circumstantial evidence suggests
that HCMV is harbored in peripheral white blood cells (as at least one
site of latency). The animal model for the study of HCMV latency uses the
severe combined immunodeficient mouse (C.B-17 scid/scid) transplanted with
human implants (SCID-hu mouse) of bone with bone marrow (BM). The human
hematopoietic cell population(s) harboring the HCMV genome in these
animals and in BM explants will be identified and the results compared to
normal adult seropositive individuals. Cell types will be identified by
cell surface marker and PCR analysis will be used to detect viral DNA.
The level of viral HCMV gene expression that occurs in cells carrying the
HCMV genome will be compared to the pattern of viral transcription in
naturally infected humans. This approach will use a bulk RT-PCR approach
followed by isolation of products with homology to any portion of the HCMV
genome. Finally, the state of cellular differentiation of cells harboring
HCMV will be evaluated as a means of reactivating latent HCMV from
infected SCID-hu mice or from normal seropositive individuals. Taken
together, the proposed research will undertake studies that seek to fully
define the biological relevance of various cell types in persistence of
HCMV and to gain a deeper understanding of the function of viral genes in
Effective start/end date9/1/948/31/97


  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health


  • Medicine(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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