Viruses encode relatively few proteins and therefore depend on resources provided by a host cell for replication. Adeno-associated virus 2 (AAV2) differs from most other viruses, as it requires not only a host cell but also a helper virus such as an adenovirus or a herpesvirus. While AAV2 replication depends on the presence of the helper virus in the same cell, it has the capacity to outcompete that helper virus by inhibiting its replication. The complex and competitive relationship between AAV2 and its helper virus provides a unique model to study molecular mechanisms of virus-virus interaction in co-infected cells, which has since long been the focus of this laboratory.
Funding: Swiss National Science Foundation