Dr Alain Kohl

  • Programme Leader Track (Centre for Virus Research)

Research interests

CVR logo

Arboviruses are transmitted by arthropod vectors such as mosquitoes or ticks to susceptible vertebrates. They can cause disease in humans and animals, displaying a variety of symptoms. Most arboviruses group into four RNA virus families, the Flaviviridae, Bunyaviridae, Togaviridae and Reoviridae.

Dengue virus (Flaviridae) and chikungunya virus (Togaviridae) are particularly prominent human pathogens. Dengue virus alone causes an important number of human infections each year, and chikungunya virus has recently emerged in the Americas. Among animal pathogens, the Rift Valley fever virus is of particular interest to us.

We now know that arbovirus replication and dissemination in arthropod vectors leads to activation of a variety of host responses (immune signalling pathways, RNA interference, other responses) which control arboviruses, and this appears to have consequences also for transmission. Studies on mosquito and tick immune responses to arbovirus infection as well as viral interference with these response therefore do not just increase our overall understanding of virus/host interactions but may also lead to clues on how to best stop transmission from the arthropod vector.

We have an important number of virus and reporter systems available to study the viruses above, which are important human or animal pathogens but also study good models such as Semliki Forest virus or Bunymwera virus. Our work on arthropod cells is now being extended to study to live mosquitoes where we are currently establishing a genetic modification programme. We also investigate the effects of endosymbiotic Wolbachia bacteria on arbovirus transmission. A further interest of the group is focused on the host responses of vertebrate cells in response to virus infection, and virus-host interactions.

The CVR is dynamic environment to carry out modern virology work. We have access to state of the art facilities including insectaries at thigh containment level. Major funders of our work are MRC, Wellcome Trust, and BBSRC (EMIDA-ERA Net "RiftVectors" project led by Kohl). Prospective students or post-doctoral fellows are encouraged to apply by email (alain.kohl@glasgow.ac.uk).


Grants and Awards listed are those received whilst working with the University of Glasgow.

  • Eco-epidemiological surveillance of Zika virus in Colombia and Ecuador
    Medical Research Council
    2016 - 2017
  • Characterisation of Zika virus neutralisation and virion structure by cryogenic electron microscopy and 3D reconstruction.
    Medical Research Council
    2016 - 2017
  • Assocation studies with Guillain-Barre syndrome and neurotropism
    Medical Research Council
    2016 - 2017
  • The emergence of Zika virus in Brazil: investigating prevalence and host responses to design preventive strategies
    Medical Research Council
    2016 - 2019
  • US-UK BBSRC-NIFA Collab: Control of emerging bunyaviruses
    Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
    2015 - 2018
  • Wolbachia as a defence against RNA viruses in insects
    Wellcome Trust
    2013 - 2014
  • Medical Research Foundation Equipment Grant
    Medical Research Council
    2013 - 2013
  • Vector competence of European mosquitoes to Rift Valley fever virus
    Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
    2012 - 2015


List by: Type | Date

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Number of items: 56.


Rainey, S. M. et al. (2016) Wolbachia blocks viral genome replication early in infection without a transcriptional response by the endosymbiont or host small RNA pathways. PLoS Pathogens, 12(4), e1005536. (doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1005536) (PMID:27089431)

Gatherer, D., and Kohl, A. (2016) Zika virus: a previously slow pandemic spreads rapidly through the Americas. Journal of General Virology, 97, pp. 269-273. (doi:10.1099/jgv.0.000381) (PMID:26684466)

Hover, S. et al. (2016) Modulation of potassium channels inhibits bunyavirus infection. Journal of Biological Chemistry, (doi:10.1074/jbc.M115.692673) (PMID:26677217)

Ndiaye, E. H. et al. (2016) Vector competence of Aedes vexans (Meigen), Culex poicilipes (Theobald) and Cx. quinquefasciatus Say from Senegal for West and East African lineages of Rift Valley fever virus. Parasites and Vectors, 9, 94. (doi:10.1186/s13071-016-1383-y) (PMID:26897521) (PMCID:PMC4761212)

Wijayanti, S. P. M., Sunaryo, S., Suprihatin, S., McFarlane, M., Rainey, S. M., Dietrich, I., Schnettler, E., Biek, R., and Kohl, A. (2016) Dengue in Java, Indonesia: relevance of mosquito indices as risk predictors. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 10(3), e0004500. (doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0004500) (PMID:26967524)


Blomström, A.-L. et al. (2015) Transcriptome analysis reveals the host response to Schmallenberg virus in bovine cells and antagonistic effects of the NSs protein. BMC Genomics, 16, 324. (doi:10.1186/s12864-015-1538-9) (PMID:25896169) (PMCID:PMC4404599)

Brennan, B. et al. (2015) In memoriam – Richard M. Elliott (1954–2015). Journal of General Virology, 96(8), pp. 1975-1978. (doi:10.1099/jgv.0.000241) (PMID:26315040)

Kean, J., Rainey, S., McFarlane, M., Donald, C., Schnettler, E., Kohl, A., and Pondeville, E. (2015) Fighting arbovirus transmission: natural and engineered control of vector competence in aedes mosquitoes. Insects, 6(1), pp. 236-278. (doi:10.3390/insects6010236) (PMID:26463078) (PMCID:PMC4553541)


Barry, G. et al. (2014) NSs protein of Schmallenberg virus counteracts the antiviral response of the cell by inhibiting its transcriptional machinery. Journal of General Virology, 95(Pt. 8), pp. 1640-1646. (doi:10.1099/vir.0.065425-0)

McFarlane, M. et al. (2014) Characterization of Aedes aegypti innate-immune pathways that limit Chikungunya virus replication. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 8(7), e2994. (doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0002994) (PMID:25058001) (PMCID:PMC4109886)

Moniuszko, A., Rückert, C., Alberdi, M. P., Barry, G., Stevenson, B., Fazakerley, J. K., Kohl, A., and Bell-Sakyi, L. (2014) Coinfection of tick cell lines has variable effects on replication of intracellular bacterial and viral pathogens. Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases, 5(4), pp. 415-422. (doi:10.1016/j.ttbdis.2014.01.010)

Rainey, S. M., Shah, P., Kohl, A., and Dietrich, I. (2014) Understanding the Wolbachia-mediated inhibition of arboviruses in mosquitoes: progress and challenges. Journal of General Virology, 95(3), pp. 517-530. (doi:10.1099/vir.0.057422-0) (PMID:24343914)

Carissimo, G. et al. (2014) Antiviral immunity of Anopheles gambiaeis highly compartmentalized, with distinct roles for RNA interference and gut microbiota. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 112(2), E176-E185. (doi:10.1073/pnas.1412984112)

Schnettler, E. et al. (2014) Induction and suppression of tick cell antiviral RNAi responses by tick-borne flaviviruses. Nucleic Acids Research, 42(14), pp. 9436-9446. (doi:10.1093/nar/gku657)


Watson, M., Schnettler, E., and Kohl, A. (2013) viRome: an R package for the visualization and analysis of viral small RNA sequence datasets. Bioinformatics, 29(15), pp. 1902-1903. (doi:10.1093/bioinformatics/btt297) (PMID:23709497) (PMCID:PMC3712215)

Schnettler, E., Donald, C. L., Human, S., Watson, M., Siu, R. W. C., McFarlane, M., Fazakerley, J. K., Kohl, A., and Fragkoudis, R. (2013) Knockdown of piRNA pathway proteins results in enhanced Semliki forest virus production in mosquito cells. Journal of General Virology, 94(Pt. 7), pp. 1680-1689. (doi:10.1099/vir.0.053850-0) (PMID:23559478) (PMCID:PMC3709635)

Barry, G., Alberdi, P., Schnettler, E., Weisheit, S., Kohl, A., Fazakerley, J.K., and Bell-Sakyi, L. (2013) Gene silencing in tick cell lines using small interfering or long double-stranded RNA. Experimental and Applied Acarology, 59(3), pp. 319-338. (doi:10.1007/s10493-012-9598-x)

Schnettler, E., Ratinier, M., Watson, M., Shaw, A. E., McFarlane, M., Varela, M., Elliott, R. M., Palmarini, M., and Kohl, A. (2013) RNA interference targets arbovirus replication in Culicoides cells. Journal of Virology, 87(5), pp. 2441-2454. (doi:10.1128/JVI.02848-12) (PMID:23269795) (PMCID:PMC3571378)

Eifan, S., Schnettler, E., Dietrich, I., Kohl, A., and Blomstrom, A. (2013) Non-structural proteins of arthropod-borne bunyaviruses: roles and functions. Viruses, 5(10), pp. 2447-2468. (doi:10.3390/v5102447)

Varela, M. et al. (2013) Schmallenberg virus pathogenesis, tropism and interaction with the innate immune system of the host. PLoS Pathogens, 9(1), e1003133. (doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1003133) (PMID:23326235) (PMCID:PMC3542112)


Schnettler, E., Sterken, M. G., Leung, J. Y., Metz, S. W., Geertsema, C., Goldbach, R. W., Vlak, J. M., Kohl, A., Khromykh, A. A.., and Pijlman, G. P. (2012) Noncoding flavivirus RNA displays RNA interference suppressor activity in insect and mammalian cells. Journal of Virology, 86(24), pp. 13486-13500. (doi:10.1128/JVI.01104-12) (PMID:23035235) (PMCID:PMC3503047)

Donald, C. L., Kohl, A., and Schnettler, E. (2012) New insights into control of arbovirus replication and spread by insect RNA interference pathways. Insects, 3(2), pp. 511-531. (doi:10.3390/insects3020511)

Alberdi, M.P., Dalby, M.J., Rodriguez-Andres, J., Fazakerley, J.K., Kohl, A., and Bell-Sakyi, L. (2012) Detection and identification of putative bacterial endosymbionts and endogenous viruses in tick cell lines. Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases, 3(3), pp. 137-146. (doi:10.1016/j.ttbdis.2012.05.002)

Bell-Sakyi, L., Kohl, A., Bente, D.A., and Fazakerley, J.K. (2012) Tick cell lines for study of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus and other arboviruses. Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases, 12(9), pp. 769-781. (doi:10.1089/vbz.2011.0766)

Rodriguez-Andres, J. et al. (2012) Phenoloxidase activity acts as a mosquito innate immune response against infection with semliki forest virus. PLoS Pathogens, 8(11), e1002977. (doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1002977) (PMID:23144608) (PMCID:PMC3493465)


Siu, R.W.C. et al. (2011) Antiviral RNA interference responses induced by Semliki Forest virus infection of mosquito cells: characterization, origin, and frequency-dependent functions of virus-derived small interfering RNAs. Journal of Virology, 85(6), pp. 2907-2917. (doi:10.1128/JVI.02052-10)


Santhakumar, D. et al. (2010) Combined agonist-antagonist genome-wide functional screening identifies broadly active antiviral microRNAs. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107(31), pp. 13830-13835. (doi:10.1073/pnas.1008861107)

Barry, G., Fragkoudis, R., Ferguson, M.C., Lulla, A., Merits, A., Kohl, A., and Fazakerley, J.K. (2010) Semliki Forest Virus-induced endoplasmic reticulum stress accelerates apoptotic death of mammalian cells. Journal of Virology, 84(14), pp. 7369-7377. (doi:10.1128/JVI.02310-09)

Mankouri, J., Fragkoudis, R., Richards, K.H., Wetherill, L.F., Harris, M., Kohl, A., Elliott, R.M., and Macdonald, A. (2010) Optineurin negatively regulates the induction of IFNβ in response to RNA virus infection. PLoS Pathogens, 6(2), e1000778. (doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1000778)


Attarzadeh-Yazdi, G. et al. (2009) Cell-to-cell Spread of the RNA interference response suppresses Semliki Forest Virus (SFV) infection of mosquito cell cultures and cannot be antagonized by SFV. Journal of Virology, 83(11), pp. 5735-5748. (doi:10.1128/JVI.02440-08)

Barry, G., Breakwell, L., Fragkoudis, R., Attarzadeh-Yazdi, G., Rodriguez-Andres, J., Kohl, A., and Fazakerley, J.K. (2009) PKR acts early in infection to suppress Semliki Forest virus production and strongly enhances the type I interferon response. Journal of General Virology, 90(6), pp. 1382-1391. (doi:10.1099/vir.0.007336-0)

Fragkoudis, R., Attarzadeh-Yazdi, G., Nash, A.A., Fazakerley, J.K., and Kohl, A. (2009) Advances in dissecting mosquito innate immune responses to arbovirus infection. Journal of General Virology, 90(9), pp. 2061-2072. (doi:10.1099/vir.0.013201-0)

Fragkoudis, R., Tamberg, N., Siu, R., Kiiver, K., Kohl, A., Merits, A., and Fazakerley, J.K. (2009) Neurons and oligodendrocytes in the mouse brain differ in their ability to replicate Semliki Forest virus. Journal of Neurovirology, 15(1), pp. 57-70. (doi:10.1080/13550280802482583)

Hart, T.J., Kohl, A., and Elliott, R.M. (2009) Role of the NSs protein in the zoonotic capacity of Orthobunyaviruses. Zoonoses and Public Health, 56(6-7), pp. 285-296. (doi:10.1111/j.1863-2378.2008.01166.x)


Fragkoudis, R., Chi, Y., Siu, R.W.C., Barry, G., Attarzadeh-Yazdi, G., Merits, A., Nash, A.A., Fazakerley, J.K., and Kohl, A. (2008) Semliki Forest virus strongly reduces mosquito host defence signaling. Insect Molecular Biology, 17(6), pp. 647-656. (doi:10.1111/j.1365-2583.2008.00834.x)


Fragkoudis, R., Breakwell, L., McKimmie, C., Boyd, A., Barry, G., Kohl, A., Merits, A., and Fazakerley, J. K. (2007) The type I interferon system protects mice from Semliki Forest virus by preventing widespread virus dissemination in extraneural tissues, but does not mediate the restricted replication of avirulent virus in central nervous system neurons. Journal of General Virology, 88(12), pp. 3373-3384. (doi:10.1099/vir.0.83191-0)

Blakqori, G. et al. (2007) La Crosse Bunyavirus nonstructural protein NSs serves to suppress the type I interferon system of mammalian hosts. Journal of Virology, 81(10), pp. 4991-4999. (doi:10.1128/JVI.01933-06)

Shi, X., Kohl, A., and Elliott, R.M. (2007) Role of the cytoplasmic tail domains of Bunyamwera orthobunyavirus glycoproteins Gn and Gc in virus assembly and morphogenesis. Journal of Virology, 81(18), pp. 10151-10160. (doi:10.1128/JVI.00573-07)


Léonard, V.H.J., Kohl, A., Hart, T.J., and Elliott, R.M. (2006) Interaction of Bunyamwera Orthobunyavirus NSs protein with mediator protein MED8: a mechanism for inhibiting the interferon response. Journal of Virology, 80(19), pp. 9667-9675. (doi:10.1128/JVI.00822-06)

Kohl, A., Lowen, A.C., Leonard, V.H.J., and Elliott, R.M. (2006) Genetic elements regulating packaging of the Bunyamwera orthobunyavirus genome. Journal of General Virology, 87, pp. 177-187.

Shi, X., Kohl, A., Leonard, V.H.J., Li, P., McLees, A., and Elliott, R.M. (2006) Requirement of the N-terminal region of orthobunyavirus nonstructural protein NSm for virus assembly and morphogenesis. Journal of Virology, 80(16), pp. 8089-8099. (doi:10.1128/JVI.00579-06)


Leonard, V.H.J., Kohl, A., Osborne, J.C., McLees, A., and Elliott, R.M. (2005) Homotypic interaction of Bunyamwera virus nucleocapsid protein. Journal of Virology, 79(20), pp. 13166-13172. (doi:10.1128/JVI.79.20.13166-13172.2005)


Kohl, A., Dunn, E.F., Lowen, A.C., and Elliott, R.M. (2004) Complementarity, sequence and structural elements within the 3' and 5' non-coding regions of the Bunyamwera orthobunyavirus S segment determine promoter strength. Journal of General Virology, 85(11), pp. 3269-3278. (doi:10.1099/vir.0.80407-0)

Billecocq, A., Spiegel, M., Vialat, P., Kohl, A., Weber, F., Bouloy, M., and Haller, O. (2004) NSs protein of Rift Valley fever virus blocks interferon production by inhibiting host gene transcription. Journal of Virology, 78(18), pp. 9798-9806. (doi:10.1128/JVI.78.18.9798-9806.2004)

Elliott, R.M., and Kohl, A. (2004) Bunyavirus/mosquito interactions. In: Gillespie, S.H., Smith, G.L. and Osbourn, A.E. (eds.) Microbe-Vector Interactions in Vector-Borne Diseases. Series: Symposia of the Society for General Microbiology (63). Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, UK, pp. 91-102. ISBN 9780521843126

Kohl, A., Dunn, E.F., Lowen, A.C., and Elliott, R.M. (2004) Complementarity, sequence and structural elements within the 3 ' and 5 ' non-coding regions of the Bunyamwera orthobunyavirus S segment determine promoter strength. Journal of General Virology, 85, pp. 3269-3278. (doi:10.1099/vir.0.80407-0)

Kohl, A., Hart, T.J., Noonan, C., Royall, E., Roberts, L.O., and Elliott, R.M. (2004) A Bunyamwera virus minireplicon system in mosquito cells. Journal of Virology, 78, pp. 5679-5685. (doi:10.1128/JVI.78.11.5679-5685.2004)


Kohl, A., Bridgen, A., Dunn, E., Barr, J.N., and Elliott, R.M. (2003) Effects of a point mutation in the 3 ' end of the S genome segment of naturally occurring and engineered Bunyamwera viruses. Journal of General Virology, 84, pp. 789-793. (doi:10.1099/vir.0.18963-0)

Kohl, A., Bridgen, A., Dunn, E., Barr, J.N., and Elliott, R.M. (2003) Effects of a point mutation in the 3' end of the S genome segment of naturally occurring and engineered Bunyamwera viruses. Journal of General Virology, 84(4), pp. 789-793. (doi:10.1099/vir.0.18963-0)

Kohl, A., Clayton, R.F., Weber, F., Bridgen, A., Randall, R.E., and Elliott, R.M. (2003) Bunyamwera virus nonstructural protein NSs counteracts interferon regulatory factor 3-mediated induction of early cell death. Journal of Virology, 77, pp. 7999-8008. (doi:10.1128/JVI.77.14.7999-8008.2003)


Vialat, P., Billecocq, A., Kohl, A., and Bouloy, M. (2000) The S segment of Rift Valley fever Phlebovirus (Bunyaviridae) carries determinants for attenuation and virulence in mice. Journal of Virology, 74(3), pp. 1538-1543. (doi:10.1128/JVI.74.3.1538-1543.2000)


Kohl, A., di Bartolo, V., and Bouloy, M. (1999) The Rift Valley fever virus nonstructural protein NSs is phosphorylated at serine residues located in casein kinase II consensus motifs in the carboxy-terminus. Virology, 263(2), pp. 517-525. (doi:10.1006/viro.1999.9978)

Yadani, F.Z., Kohl, A., Préhaud, C., Billecocq, A., and Bouloy, M. (1999) The carboxy-terminal acidic domain of Rift Valley Fever virus NSs protein is essential for the formation of filamentous structures but not for the nuclear localization of the protein. Journal of Virology, 73(6), pp. 5018-5025.

Kroll, M., Margottin, F., Kohl, A., Renard, P., Durand, H., Concordet, J., Bachelerie, F., Arenzana-Seisdedos, F., and Benarous, R. (1999) Inducible degradation of Ikappa Balpha by the proteasome requires interaction with the F-box protein h-beta TrCP. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 274(12), pp. 7941-7945. (doi:10.1074/jbc.274.12.7941)

Kohl, A., Billecocq, A., Prehaud, C., Yadani, F.Z., and Bouloy, M. (1999) Transient gene expression in mammalian and mosquito cells using a recombinant Semliki Forest virus expressing T7 RNA polymerase. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, 53(1), pp. 51-56. (doi:10.1007/s002530051613)


Kohl, A., Wittchen, K.-D., and Meinhardt, F. (1997) Rapid method for cloning a Ca(2+)-dependent metalloprotease from a gram-positive bacterium in Escherichia coli. BioTechniques, 22(1), pp. 58-59.

This list was generated on Thu May 26 05:59:30 2016 BST.

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