Mar 2019 – Ian Wickersham

Re-engineering Rabies Virus

Dr. Wickersham elaborates on his lab’s work regarding the creation of a second-generation rabies virus. This second-generation rabies virus was created through the replacement of the G and L genes of the virus with Cre. This virus was found to be able to spread trans-synaptically, and the survival of cells infected with this virus was greater than cells infected with the first-generation virus. However, this second-generation virus did not come without its limitations. It was not as effective as the first-generation virus and more complex. This led to the creation of the third-generation rabies virus. This virus was created by replacing only the L gene with Cre, as opposed to both the G and L genes. The Wickersham lab proved that this third-generation virus does not kill cells and is able to spread trans-synaptically. Additionally, Wickersham’s lab proved that coating with EnvA also works with this third-generation virus.

See his work here.