Professor of Virology
Department of Virology
Medical University of Vienna
Kinderspitalgasse 15, 1090 Vienna, Austria
Phone: +43 (0)1 40160 - 65510
FAX: +43 (0)1 40160 - 965599
Dissection of humoral and cellular immune responses to flaviviruses.
Molecular antigenic structure of flaviviruses
Flaviviruses are small enveloped viruses including a number of important human pathogens, such as yellow fever, dengue, Japanese encephalitis, West Nile, and tick-borne encephalitis viruses. Protection against flavivirus infections is mediated by antibodies that bind to the major viral envelope protein E.
The atomic structure of E has been elucidated for several flaviviruses by X-ray crystallography, and cryo electronmicroscopy of virus particles has revealed that 180 copies of E are organized in a specific icosahedral arrangement on the virus surface.
These viruses provide excellent model systems for studying structural parameters that determine and influence the quality and functionality of humoral and cellular immune responses. In this context, we study the fine specificities and individual-specific variations of immune responses after flavivirus infection and vaccination.
Zlatkovic, J., G. Tsouchnikas, J. Jarmer, C. Koessl, K. Stiasny, and F. X. Heinz. 2013. Aluminum hydroxide influences not only the extent but also the fine specificity and functional activity of antibody responses to tick-borne encephalitis virus in mice. J Virol 87:12187-95.
Vratskikh, O., K. Stiasny, J. Zlatkovic, G. Tsouchnikas, J. Jarmer, U. Karrer, M. Roggendorf, H. Roggendorf, R. Allwinn, and F. X. Heinz. 2013. Dissection of Antibody Specificities Induced by Yellow Fever Vaccination. PLoS Pathog 9:e1003458.
Heinz, F. X., and K. Stiasny. 2012. Flaviviruses and flavivirus vaccines. Vaccine 30:4301-6.
Heinz, F. X., and K. Stiasny. 2012. Flaviviruses and their antigenic structure. J Clin Virol 55:289-95.