This research area concerns basic comparative and applied studies of viral pathogenesis and immunity in amphibians caused by Poxvirus-like Ranaviruses such as Frog virus 3 (FV3). Because of the threat of emerging wildlife viral diseases on global biodiversity, fundamental research on comparative viral immunity has become crucial.
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We have identified in Xenopus adults and tadpoles a class Ib-restricted semi-invariant T cell (iT) population with many similarities to the mammalian iNKT. While recent data have shown that in mammals these cells appear to play critical roles in host defense against important pathogens including viruses and mycobacteria the full biological significance of these iT cells is still unknown.
Learn more about Evolution of Nonclassical MHC Genes and Innate T Cells