Clinical Neuovirology

Astrovirus research

Recent discovery indicated the involvement of specific astrovirus genotypes in encephalitis and neurological disease of humans and animals. We strive for a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms of astrovirus replication of determinants of neuroinvasion . To this end we develop reverse genetics systems for human and animal astroviruses that allow us to engineer the viral genome and to investigate the molecular biology of these viruses and their interaction with the hosts.

• We discovered neurotropic astroviruses in a series of ruminant species using high-throughput sequencing and bioinformatics 

• We developed diagnostic tools for neurotropic astroviruses of ruminants (ISH, IHC, RT-qPCR)

• We established a human astrovirus 1 reverse genetics system in our laboratory

Virus discovery

We are hunting for new and emerging viruses in particular for those related to infections of the central nervous system. To this end, we have established high-throughput sequencing (HTS) protocols and bioinformatics pipelines using high performance computing (HPC). This allows us to sequence the entire genetic information in a clinical sample and to identify and discover viruses by comparison of these data with the host genome and viral databases. Viral candidates are then confirmed and further characterized by conventional diagnostic tools and often lead to follow-up projects and further assessment of causative relationships between viral infection and disease.

• Discovery of a novel bovine retrovirus in cattle with encephalitis 

• Discovery of novel Filoviruses, a new Hantavirus and new

Rhabdovirus in freshwater fish

• Association of a bovine polyomavirus with neurological disease in cattle

• Discovery of neurotropic astroviruses in different ruminant species




Neurotropic Astroviruses in Animals.

Wildi N, Seuberlich T.

Viruses. 2021 Jun 23;13(7):1201. doi: 10.3390/v13071201

Novel Filoviruses, Hantavirus, and Rhabdovirus in Freshwater Fish, Switzerland, 2017

Melanie M Hierweger, Michel C Koch, Melanie Rupp, Piet Maes, Nicholas Di Paola, Rémy Bruggmann, Jens H Kuhn, Heike Schmidt-Posthaus, Torsten Seuberlich

Emerg Infect Dis. 2021 Dec;27(12):3082-3091. doi : 10.3201/eid2712.210491

A list of all publications can be found here.

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