SEP 23, 2015 09:00 AM PDT

Linking Viral Discovery with Causality

  • Professor of Pathology, Microbiology & Immunology School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis
      Patty Pesavento received her BA at Swarthmore, and her PhD from Harvard University. She received her DVM and completed a pathology residency at UC Davis in 2003. She is currently a Professor in the Department of Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology, at the School of Veterinary Medicine at UC Davis. Dr. Pesavento's research interests have been principally the identification and characterization of infectious diseases that arise from intensively housed animals or animals at the human:animal interface.

    DATE: September 23, 2015
    TIME: 9AM Pacific time, 12PM Eastern time

    The majority of emerging diseases are infections with viruses that jump species barriers from wildlife or domestic animals to humans. The advent of molecular methods like high-throughput sequencing dramatically scaled viral discovery in humans and animals. Efficient and (nearly) unbiased discovery has expanded our understanding of the complexity of viral families, can inform individualized medicine, can quickly identify emerging disease, and even potentially can anticipate emergence. Many of these novel viruses are innocuous, so along with powerful discovery tools comes a responsibility in the medical research community to uncover viral pathogenesis and to clearly define associations, if present, with disease.
    Our laboratory has discovered novel viruses in multiple animal species, and utilizes a combination of tools, including RNAscopeĀ® in situ hybridization, to disentangle the complex host-pathogen interactions. In this presentation, we will consider the evidence for disease causality using novel persistent (papillomavirus), oncogenic (polyomavirus, circovirus), and acute cytolytic (astrovirus) viruses as examples. These studies have expanded our understanding of how and when viruses potentially cause disease, and demonstrate the impact and relevance of natural disease. Expanded consideration of the health of all animals is a balanced approach to world health.

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