Coulson laboratory: Rotavirus pathogenesis and immunity

Research Overview

Our group studies key aspects of rotavirus pathogenesis and immunity. Rotaviruses are the major cause of severe acute diarrhoeal illness of infants and children. They are responsible for one-third of all hospitalizations for diarrhoea worldwide, and for an estimated 600,000 deaths/year, mostly in developing countries. Prevention of disease due to rotavirus, a major aim of paediatric medical research, now seems to be a practical possibility following the global introduction of rotavirus vaccines for infants. However, improved vaccines and new drugs for rotavirus disease are urgently needed.

One focus of our research is the role played by integrins in rotavirus-cell attachment and entry and this has led us to the discovery of rotavirus-integrin interactions. We also are analysing the role of rotavirus infection in progression to type I diabetes, following our initial reports of the possible association of rotavirus with diabetes. Other areas of strong interest include cell signalling induced by rotavirus infection, sialic acids as rotavirus receptors, and identification of compounds that inhibit rotavirus interaction with receptors.


Ms Kaitlin Brown, Honours
Mrs Izabel Di Fiore, PhD
Ms Fiona Fleming, RA
Dr Gavan Holloway, SRO
Dr Jessica Pane, RO