Understanding the pathogenesis of a JC virus induced demyelinating disease in human brain
JC polyomavirus (JCPyV) infects greater than 50% of the human population worldwide. The virus is harbored asymptomatically in the urogenital system but in immunosuppressed or immunomodulated patients it reactivates, traffics to the brain infecting and destroying oligodendrocytes. The result is a rapidly progressing, debilitating, and often fatal demyelinating disease known as progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML). The focus of this project is to understand how expression of specific virus receptors leads to brain invasion and infection of glial cells by the virus.