Title of Thesis
Phylodynamics of HCV Infection Leading to Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies and Viral Clearance: A Molecular Guide to Vaccine Development?
Guest Speaker: Dr. Muhammad Nauman Zahid
Date: Wednesday, November 28, 2018
Time: 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Venue: SSE Dean’s Smart Lab, 4th floor
Host: Dr. Amir Faisal
It is not known whether neutralizing antibodies play a direct role in natural clearance of human hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Here, we show the mechanism by which broadly-neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (bNAbs) isolated from two humans with spontaneous control of HCV infection mediated HCV clearance. Using HCV gene sequences amplified from longitudinal plasma of the bNAb donors, we found that these bNAbs, which target the front layer of HCV E2, neutralized most autologous HCV strains. Remarkably, acquisition of bNAb resistance by some autologous strains was accompanied by progressive loss of E2 protein function, and temporally associated with clearance of HCV infection. These data demonstrate that bNAbs can mediate clearance of human HCV infection by neutralizing infecting strains and driving escaped viruses to an unfit state. These immunopathologic events suggest that development of an HCV vaccine may be achievable.
Dr. Zahid completed his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree and M.Phil from University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore. He obtained his PhD degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology from University of Strasbourg, France in 2012. After his PhD, Dr. Zahid worked as Assistant Professor at CEMB, Punjab University and University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore. He also worked as adjunct faculty at LUMS. Dr. Zahid started his Postdoc at Cornell University in 2015 and currently he is working as a Postdoc Fellow at University of Pennsylvania, USA since 2016.