Human coronaviruses are important pathogens that cause significant morbidity and mortality. This has been made especially clear by the recent emergence of SARS-human coronavirus (HCoV), the etiologic agent of severe acute respiratory syndrome. My work in Dr. Perlman’s laboratory is focused on identifying and characterizing the genetic determinants of another human coronavirus, HCoV-OC43, that underlie viral pathogenesis and modulate the host immune response to infection. In addition, using a model of coronavirus infection of the mouse CNS, I am working to understand the relationship between host- and virus-specific factors that influence the selection of cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) escape variant viruses. The tools I use in the lab include mouse models of coronavirus infection, basic virus and recombinant virus techniques, and advanced methodologies of cellular and molecular immunology.
Butler NS, Theodossis A, Webb AI, Nastovska R, Ramarathinam SH, Dunstone MA, Rossjohn J, Purcell AW, Perlman S. Prevention of cytotoxic T cell escape using a heteroclitic subdominant viral T cell determinant. PLoS Pathog. 2008 Oct;4(10):e1000186. Epub 2008 Oct 24. PubMed PMID: 18949029; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2563037.
Butler NS, Theodossis A, Webb AI, Dunstone MA, Nastovska R, Ramarathinam SH, Rossjohn J, Purcell AW, Perlman S. Structural and biological basis of CTL escape in coronavirus-infected mice. J Immunol. 2008 Mar 15;180(6):3926-37. PubMed PMID:18322201.
Butler NS, Dandekar AA, Perlman S. Antiviral antibodies are necessary to prevent cytotoxic T-lymphocyte escape in mice infected with a coronavirus. J Virol. 2007 Dec;81(24):13291-8. Epub 2007 Oct 3. PubMed PMID: 17913802; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2168833.
Butler N, Pewe L, Trandem K, Perlman S. HCoV-OC43-induced encephalitis is in part immune-mediated. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2006;581:531-4. PubMed PMID: 17037592.
Butler N, Pewe L, Trandem K, Perlman S. Murine encephalitis caused by HCoV-OC43, a human coronavirus with broad species specificity, is partly immune-mediated. Virology. 2006 Apr 10;347(2):410-21. Epub 2006 Jan 18. PubMed PMID: 16413043.