Special Issue "The CRISPR Therapy of Viral Infections"

A special issue of Pathogens (ISSN 2076-0817). This special issue belongs to the section "Immunological Responses and Immune Defense Mechanisms".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 August 2022 | Viewed by 408

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Elena Herrera-Carrillo
Guest Editor
Laboratory of Experimental Virology, Department of Medical Microbiology, University of Amsterdam, Meibergdreef 15, 1105 AZ Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Interests: virology; antiviral approaches; HIV; gene therapy
Prof. Dr. Ben Berkhout
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Laboratory of Experimental Virology, Department of Medical Microbiology, University of Amsterdam, Meibergdreef 15, 1105 AZ Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Interests: virology; antiviral approaches; virus evolution; drug resistance
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In recent years, there has been an increasing demand for the development of new antiviral strategies due to the prevalence of viral infections such as those caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or the hepatitis B and C viruses (HBV and HCV) and the emergence of a variety of “new” viruses, including SARS-CoV-2. The pharmaceutical industry and the scientific community work on the development of new antiviral drugs, including the repurposing of previously approved drugs. However, alternative strategies are also welcome, such as the development of novel RNA-based therapeutics based on the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-Cas system.

This Special Issue launched by Pathogens will be devoted to “The CRISPR Therapy of Viral Infections” and will accept both original research papers and review articles. This Special Issue will focus on how CRISPR-Cas can be used as a screening method and a therapeutic gene editing tool to treat or cure viral infections. Potential topics include but are not limited to the following:

  • Targeting RNA viruses;
  • Targeting DNA viruses;
  • Targeting host factors;
  • CRISPR screening methods to identify new therapeutic targets.

Dr. Elena Herrera-Carrillo
Prof. Dr. Ben Berkhout
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Pathogens is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • CRISPR-Cas
  • Cas13
  • Cas9
  • Cas12
  • dCas9 activators
  • dCas9 repressors
  • CRISPR Therapy
  • HIV
  • HCV
  • HBV

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission, see below for planned papers.

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Application of CRISPR-Cas9 Gene Editing for HIV Host Factor Discovery and Validation
Authors: William J. Cisneros1,2, †, Daphne Cornish1,2, †, Judd F. Hultquist1,2,*
Affiliation: 1 Division of Infectious Diseases, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL 60611, USA. 2 Center for Pathogen Genomics and Microbial Evolution, Northwestern University Havey Institute for Global Health, Chicago, IL 60611, USA.
Abstract: Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) interacts with a wide array of host factors at each stage of its lifecycle to facilitate replication and circumvent the immune response. Identification and characterization of these host factors is critical for elucidating the mechanism of viral replication and for developing next-generation HIV therapeutic and curative strategies. Recent advances in CRISPR-Cas9-based genome engineering approaches have provided researchers with an assortment of new, valuable tools for host factor discovery and interrogation. Genome-wide screening in a variety of in vitro cell models has helped define the critical host factors that play a role in different cellular and biological contexts. Targeted manipulation of specific host factors by CRISPR-Cas9-mediated gene knock-out, overexpression, and/or directed repair have furthermore allowed for target validation in primary cell models and mechanistic inquiry through hypothesis-based testing. In this review, we summarize several CRISPR-based screening strategies for the identification of HIV host factors and highlight how CRISPR-Cas9 approaches have been used to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of viral replication and host response. Finally, we examine promising new technologies in the CRISPR field and how these may be applied to address critical questions in HIV biology going forward.

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