Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Date of Award

January 2017

Degree Type


Degree Name



Immunology and Microbiology

First Advisor

Philip Pellett


Human Cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is a linear, double stranded DNA virus that causes severe disease in the immunocompromised, and is one of the common cause of congenital disease. Antivirals that are currently available for treatment target the DNA replication of the virus cycle, and are highly toxic. Finding new drug targets, such as proteins responsible for virion assembly and egress, would help to alleviate the disease burden.

HCMV remodels the host cell to form a structure called the cytoplasmic virion assembly complex (cVAC), a site of virion maturation and egress. The first objective of this work is to study the structure of the cVAC in vivo by immunofluorescence assay using slides from children with congenital HCMV, and we discovered that the cVAC is also formed in vivo. The second objective is to elucidate the role of pUL103 in cVAC biogenesis in the early stages of infection using a regulatable pUL103-FKBP construct and Shield-1 ligand. We found that decreased levels of pUL103 at the early stages of infection is not critical for cVAC biogenesis at later times of the infection.