The 2019 NW ASM Branch meeting will have presentations from faculty, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students from 7 different institutions in the northwest region as well as a highly anticipated keynote address from Stephen M. Beverley, an ASM distinguished lecturer from the Washington University School of Medicine.
Many protozoans contain endogenous viruses; examples include Leishmania, Trichomonas, Giardia, and several apicomplexans including Cryptosporidium, Babesia, and Toxoplasma. Focusing mostly on Leishmania, we showed a few years ago that these actually contribute towards parasite virulence in animal models and probably in humans. As endobiont viruses, these in effect constitute the “virome within.” Lecture topics would include the emerging parasite viromes including viral discovery, the structure and functional relationships of viruses within the parasite host, how these contribute to mammalian pathogenicity, and exploiting these viruses as therapeutic targets. Leishmania will be the central paradigm but studies of the other protozoal viruses will be incorporated depending on the specific lecture.