Matt Pennington's Research

An important tool in studies relayed to viral pathogenesis is the development of physiologically relevant in vitro models representing in vivo conditions. My research is centered around the development of air-liquid corneal explant models to study the pathogenesis of alphaherpesviruses that cause ocular herpes in animals and humans. More specifically, I am using our recently established canine cornea model to study the replication kinetics of canine herpesvirus type 1 (CHV-1) and herpes simplex type 1 (HSV-1), in order to define differences and similarities in a virus-natural host versus a virus-non natural host setting. Additionally, I am using a feline cornea model to screen antivirals against feline herpesvirus type 1 (FHV-1), as current antiviral treatments rely primarily on anecdotal evidence to justify their use. Taken together, I hope to use these novel explant models to answer questions concerning the pathogenesis and treatment of ocular herpesvirus infections.

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Feline corneas infected with FHV-1 The air-liquid corneal explant model