To: The George Mason University Community
Candidate: Nazly Shafagati
Program: Master of Science in Biology
Date: Wednesday July 18, 2012
Time: 10:00 a.m.
Place: George Mason University
Bull Run Hall, Room 256
Prince William campus
Thesis Chair: Dr. Kylene Kehn-Hall
Title: "The Use of Nanoparticles in the Detection of Rift
Valley Fever Virus and Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis Virus"
A copy of the thesis
is on reserve
in the Johnson Center
Library, Fairfax campus.
The thesis will not be read at the meeting, but should be
in advance. All members of the George Mason University community are
Valley Fever Virus (90 – 110 nm in diameter) and Venezuelan Equine
Virus (approximately 70 nm in diameter) are zoonotic viruses that are
emerging pathogens but also play a role in biomedical warfare
development. The current state of diagnosis (e.g. ELISA)
has led to misdiagnosis early on in infection.
We propose the use of nanoparticles (NTs) to capture whole virus, which
can then be used in detection at stages when viral titers are low and
undetectable. The use of nanoparticles
is simple, reliable, and inexpensive. our results demonstrate that
nanoparticles are capable of capturing whole virus (including from 100%
serum), which can be detected by both q-RT-PCR and plaque assays, and
at least a 10 fold improvement in the detection of viruses.
Importantly, pathogen inactivation is
possible in combination with nanoparticle virus capture; allowing for
safe use in a BSL-2 laboratory.