Viruses are highly efficient pathogens that are able to manage with only a minimum of their own genes. In order to survive they are reliant on the machinery of the cells that they infect. Host factors have crucial functions at all stages of the infection process, i.e. for viral entry, viral replication and viral persistence. During evolution viruses develop together with their hosts and learn to use these specific factors to their own advantage.
Conversely, this may provide a way of treating viral infections: if we know the factors that the virus uses and the mechanisms of the interaction, the host factors can be inhibited to limit the infection. In project area C cellular factors that play a central role in the establishment or maintenance of viral persistence are therefore being characterised.