Student Level: Masters, Honours

Description: HBV and HDV co-infection or HDV superinfection of chronically HBV infected hepatocytes has been well documented, however the effects of co-infection on cell machinery is not well understood. HDV is a small satellite RNA virus that is thought to have evolved from plant viroids. HDV does not encode its own envelope protein, but instead utilises HBV envelope proteins (HBsAg) as its outer coat. HBV and HDV therefore share the same receptors for cellular entry. It has been shown in a handful of studies, using transfection methods, that HDV suppresses HBV DNA replication. However some of these results are controversial, due to the varying efficiency of co-transfections and the HBV replicon models used. This project will study HBV and HDV interactions, using in vitro transfection and infection models, employing a range of HBV genotype specific replicons and their mutants.

Supervisor: Associate Professor Mark Douglas – mark.douglas@sydney.edu.au

Co- Supervisor: Dr Anis Khan – anis.khan@sydney.edu.au