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Assay Drug Dev Technol. 2015 Jan-Feb;13(1):34-43. doi: 10.1089/adt.2014.613. Epub 2015 Feb 3.

Probing the virus host interaction in high containment: an approach using pooled short hairpin RNA.

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1 National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratory, Boston University School of Medicine , Boston, Massachusetts.


The study of viruses in high containment offers unique challenges for technology-intense approaches. These approaches include high-throughput screening for small-molecule antivirals and genetic perturbation-based screens for host factors required for viral replication. Here, we describe the use of whole-genome scale pooled short hairpin RNA (shRNA) libraries to screen for host factors necessary for viral infection at BSL2, and the transition of this technique into the BSL4 environment. Pooled screening provides a unique way to circumvent many of the technological challenges associated with other high-throughput screening approaches in high containment. Our pooled screening approach identified host factors involved in the replication of orthopoxviruses (Vaccinia and Monkeypox) and filoviruses (Ebola and Marburg) under conditions that enable straightforward screen-to-follow-up approaches.

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