Associate Professor, Infectious Diseases and Microbiology
2131 Parran Hall, 130 DeSoto Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15261
Primary Phone: 967-179-6074
I am the director of the Anellovirus Working Group ere at GSPH. Anelloviruses are small unenveloped viruses with circular ssDNA genomes. They are the smallest in particle size, smallest in genome size, and least complex in genetic organization of all human pathogens. Some studies suggest
they are ubiquitous, present in >90% of the human population with infection occurring in infancy or early childhood. While no known symptomatic illness has been associated with anellovirus infection, a majority of healthy humans have detectable plasma loads in excess of 102 to 103 particles/cc. To sustain this load level over time, one to two billion virus particles must be produced per day. All of the studies done to date, and particularly the most recent studies, suggest that immunosurveillence is required to control the level of particle production and have hinted at the possibility that monitoring plasma load levels may serve as a surrogate marker for immune status. We are developing
quantitative realtime PCR assays to detect anelloviruses and are performing a preliminary cross-sectional survey We plan to conduct a preliminary survey of plasma loads in blood donors and transplant recipients in Western Pennsylvania to determine the frequency and load of anellovirus genotypes. Sequencing and isolation of whole virus genomes from plasma specimens is guiding refinements to the assays and, along with load determinations, will be used to provide a preliminary assessment of the utility of the anellovirus load assays as an immune competence biomarker.
1983 / McMaster University, Ontario, Canada / PhD - Virology
I am the Course Director and principle Instructor of IDM 2001 Molecular Biology of Bicrobial Pathogens.
Laura Wasil, Monica Tomaszewski, Shushen Xu, and David T. Rowe (2013) Kinetics of Epstein-Barr virus Infection of B cells by Knockout Viruses with Defects in the Latent Membrane Protein 2 Gene. PLoS One. 8(1):e54010.
Davies ML, Xu S, Lyons-Weiler J, Rosendorff A, Webber SA, Wasil LR, Metes D, Rowe DT. (2010)
Cellular factors associated with latency and spontaneous Epstein-Barr virus reactivation in B-lymphoblastoid cell lines. Virology. 400:53-67
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