Research Topic

Modeling of Viral Replication and Pathogenesis: Opportunities and Challenges from the Basics to the Bedside

About this Research Topic

The COVID (Sars-CoV2) pandemic has reminded the world in a most devastating manner of the death and damage to the body that unrestricted virus replication can do. Viruses that invade the human body through mucosal surfaces or by direct contact with the bloodstream. Amazingly, once gaining entry through different strategies to avert detection by the immune system, viruses find their target tissue (s) which harbor abundant susceptible cells and amplify their progeny. The host in turn responds in time, or too late with the outcome determined by the successful activation of a combination of immune, metabolic, and molecular signaling pathways.


To uncover the viral mechanisms involved, researchers use, develop, and refine in vitro and in vivo experimental models. Each model varies in the extent to which the in vivo infection sequelae are reliably and authentically reproduced. Despite such limitations, important hypotheses can be experimentally tested.  


Exciting advances in stem cell culture, understanding of the metabolic requirements for differentiation and the importance of microenvironment enables reconstitution of 1D to 3D culture systems of varied complexity and cell-type relevance. Nevertheless, rodents and other vertebrate species as required by the pathogen remain integral to basic science discovery along the path toward the development of lifesaving therapeutic drugs, vaccines, and antibodies. The articles in this Research Topic will highlight the variety of experimental models used to gain insight into HIV-, neurotropic viruses, or emerging virus-host basic biology at the level of tissues. Studies that reveal dynamic insights at the organ level and the role of sex with respect to outcomes are welcomed. Studies utilizing specific cell-lines must include the rationale for their inclusion in the experimental design. We welcome primary research articles, brief reports highlighting a significant technological advance, and review articles.


Keywords: Latent Infection, Neuropathogenesis, Microglia, Glia, Serum-Free iPSC-Derived Glia, iPSC-Derived Neurons, Rodents, Rhesus Macaques, Non-Human Primates, Humanized Mice, Organoids, Stem Cells, HSCs, Single-Round Infection


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

The COVID (Sars-CoV2) pandemic has reminded the world in a most devastating manner of the death and damage to the body that unrestricted virus replication can do. Viruses that invade the human body through mucosal surfaces or by direct contact with the bloodstream. Amazingly, once gaining entry through different strategies to avert detection by the immune system, viruses find their target tissue (s) which harbor abundant susceptible cells and amplify their progeny. The host in turn responds in time, or too late with the outcome determined by the successful activation of a combination of immune, metabolic, and molecular signaling pathways.


To uncover the viral mechanisms involved, researchers use, develop, and refine in vitro and in vivo experimental models. Each model varies in the extent to which the in vivo infection sequelae are reliably and authentically reproduced. Despite such limitations, important hypotheses can be experimentally tested.  


Exciting advances in stem cell culture, understanding of the metabolic requirements for differentiation and the importance of microenvironment enables reconstitution of 1D to 3D culture systems of varied complexity and cell-type relevance. Nevertheless, rodents and other vertebrate species as required by the pathogen remain integral to basic science discovery along the path toward the development of lifesaving therapeutic drugs, vaccines, and antibodies. The articles in this Research Topic will highlight the variety of experimental models used to gain insight into HIV-, neurotropic viruses, or emerging virus-host basic biology at the level of tissues. Studies that reveal dynamic insights at the organ level and the role of sex with respect to outcomes are welcomed. Studies utilizing specific cell-lines must include the rationale for their inclusion in the experimental design. We welcome primary research articles, brief reports highlighting a significant technological advance, and review articles.


Keywords: Latent Infection, Neuropathogenesis, Microglia, Glia, Serum-Free iPSC-Derived Glia, iPSC-Derived Neurons, Rodents, Rhesus Macaques, Non-Human Primates, Humanized Mice, Organoids, Stem Cells, HSCs, Single-Round Infection


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

06 June 2021 Abstract
04 October 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

06 June 2021 Abstract
04 October 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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