Biology of cytomegalovirus infection in developing brain and latency

Full title: Biology of cytomegalovirus infection in developing brain and latency

Grantors: Croatian Science Foundation and European Social Fund

Grantor’s website: and

Duration: 2020-2023

Coordinator: Dr. Ilija Brizic

Research team:
Dr. Luka Čičin Šain
Asst. Prof. Dr. Ivan Bubic dr. med.
Prof. Dr.  Ester Pernjak Pugel
Dr. Paola Kučan
Dr. Lea Hiršl
Dr. Marina Pribanic Matesic
Fran Krstanovic, mag. biokemije
Andrea Mihalic, mag. biotech. in med.

Total funding: 2.053.190,00 HRK

Brief description:
Congenital CMV infection is a major cause of trans-placentally transmitted congenital infections and may cause a wide range of structural and functional disabilities and permanent neurological sequelae such as hearing-loss, mental retardation or cerebral palsy. Infection of the brain during congenital CMV infection is of great interest, however, the cellular sites of infection during acute and latent infection are still poorly characterized. The aim of this project is to determine mechanisms and cellular sites of acute infection, sites of viral latency and cellular sites of virus reactivation in the brain. Furthermore, we will determine how latent CMV infection remodels the brain cells. Understanding these mechanisms is needed to prevent CMV infection and pathology in central nervous system. Results of this project will contribute to better understanding of congenital CMV pathogenesis in brain, and will open new avenues of CMV research and therapy.