Pathologies induced by viral infections have undergone extensive study, with traditional model systems such as two-dimensional (2D) cell cultures and in vivo mouse models contributing greatly to our understanding of host-virus interactions. However, the technical limitations inherent in these systems have constrained efforts to more fully understand such interactions, leading to a search for alternative in vitro systems that accurately recreate in vivo physiology in order to advance the study of viral pathogenesis. Over the last decade, there have been significant technological advances that have allowed researchers to more accurately model the host environment when modeling viral pathogenesis in vitro, including induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), adult stem-cell-derived organoid culture systems and CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genome editing. Such technological breakthroughs have ushered in a new era in the field of viral pathogenesis, where previously challenging questions have begun to be tackled. These include genome-wide analysis of host-virus crosstalk, identification of host factors critical for viral pathogenesis, and the study of viral pathogens that previously lacked a suitable platform, e.g., noroviruses, rotaviruses, enteroviruses, adenoviruses, and Zika virus. In this review, we will discuss recent advances in the study of viral pathogenesis and host-virus crosstalk arising from the use of iPSC, organoid, and CRISPR/Cas9 technologies.
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