Virology Research

Carr Lab Virus Research:Topics

Host cell responses to virus infection. Our research has focused on dengue virus infection but has recently expanded to also include the related zika virus.

The enzyme sphingosine kinase 1 is altered in dengue virus infected cells. Our research projects aim to investigate the significance of the change in activity of this important cellular enzyme and its relationship to virus replication and disease pathogenesis, in collaboration with Associate Professor Stuart Pitson.  Additionally, we are interested in innate responses to viral (dengue and zika) infection and have collaborative projects with Professor Michael Beard, particularly focussed on the antiviral protein, viperin.  Further, a recent collaborative project with Professor David Gordon is investigating the relationship between dengue virus and regulatory proteins of the complement alternative pathway, such as factor H.

Dengue virus infection at novel sites and host responses to infection. The endothelium is an important target for mediating the pathogenic changes seen in severe dengue virus infections. There is some evidence for infection of the endothelium in vivo and we aim to investigate this issue using novel primary in vitro and in vivo models. This project is in collaboration with Associate Professor Claudine Bonder. We are also investigating dengue and zika virus infection in the eye with Professor Justine Smith and have assessed dengue virus infection in the brain, in both cases with an interest in the innate responses in these unique sites.

Research studies in dengue endemic countries. Through a collaboration with Dr Faseeha Noordeen , University of Peradeniya we collaborate to define the changing aspects of dengue disease in Sri Lanka. We also have a collaboration with Professor Asha Mary Abraham, CMC Vellore , India to further investigate the interaction of SK, S1P and endothelial cells in patient studies.

Latest 10 publications

(see Google scholar for full publication list for Jill Carr)

  • Al Shujairi, W.H., Clarke, J.N., Davies, L., Alsharifi, M., Pitson, S. and Carr, J.M. (2017). Intracranial injection of Dengue Virus induces interferon stimulated genes and CD8+ T cell infiltration by Sphingosine Kinase 1 independent pathways. PLoS One, 12(1) pp. Art: e0169814.
  • Senaratne, T., Wimalaratne, H., Alahakoon, D.G., Gunawardane, N., Carr, J.M. and Noordeen, F. (2016). Characterization of dengue virus infections in a sample of patients suggests unique clinical, immunological and virological profiles that impact on the diagnosis of dengue and dengue hemorrhagic fever. Journal of Medical Virology, [10.1002/jmv.24525]
  • Senaratne, T., Carr, J.M. and Noordeen, F. (2016). Elevation in liver enzymes is associated with increased IL-2 and predicts severe outcomes in clinically apparent dengue virus infection. Cytokine, 83 pp. 182-188.
    [10.1016/j.cyto.2016.04.010] [
  • Ali, M.E., Rajapaksha, K.H., Carr, J.M. and Petrovsky, N. (2016). Norovirus drug candidates that inhibit viral capsid attachment to human histo-blood group antigens. ANTIVIRAL RESEARCH, 133 pp. 14-22.
  • Clarke JN, Davies LK, Calvert JK, Gliddon BL, Shujari WH, Aloia AL, Helbig KJ, Beard MR, Pitson SM, Carr JM. (2016) Reduction in sphingosine kinase 1 influences the susceptibility to dengue virus infection by altering antiviral responses. Journal of General Virology Jan;97(1):95-109. doi: 10.1099/jgv.0.000334. Epub 2015 Nov PMID:26541871
  • Aloia, A.L., Abraham, A.M., Bonder, C., Pitson, S. and Carr, J.M. (2015). Dengue Virus-induced inflamamtion of the endothelium and the potential roles of Sphingosine Kinase-1 and MicroRNAs. Mediators of Inflammation, 2015(Art: 509306) [10.1155/2015/509306]
  • Milic NL, Davis S, Carr JM, Isberg S, Beard MR, Helbig KJ.(2015) Sequence analysis and characterisation of virally induced viperin in the saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) Developmental and Comparative Immunology Jul;51(1):108-15. doi: 10.1016/j.dci.2015.03.001. Epub 2015 Mar 9. PMID:25766282
  • Calvert JK, Helbig KJ, Dimasi D, Cockshell M, Beard MR, Pitson SM, Bonder CS, Carr JM (2015) Dengue virus infection of primary endothelial cells induces innate immune responses, changes in endothelial cells function and is restricted by interferon-stimulated responses.  Journal of Interferon and Cytokine Research Apr 22. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 25902155
  • Aloia AL, Eyre NS, Black S, Bent SJ, Gaeguta A, Guo Z, Narayana SK, Chase R, Locarnini S, Carr JM, Howe JA, Beard MR (2014)  Generation of a chimeric hepatitis C replicon encoding a genotype-3a NS3 protease and assessment of bocepravir (SCH503034) sensitivity and drug associated mutations.  Antiviral Therapy  10.3851/IMP2850
  • Carr, J., Kua, T., Clarke, J., Calvert, J., Zebol, J., Beard, M., et al. (2013). Reduced sphingosine kinase 1 activity in dengue virus type-2 infected cells can be mediated by the 3' untranslated region of dengue virus type-2 RNA. Journal of General Virology, 94 pp. 2437-2448.

Laboratory members

Dr Jill Carr , Laboratory Head









Research Staff

Mrs Julie Calvert

Dr Gustavo Bracho-Granado



Mr Wisam Al Shujairi (PhD, 2014-current)

Mr Alexander Mathews Abraham (PhD, 2014-current)

Ms Sheila Cabezas (PhD, 2015-current)

Funding Acknowledgements

Channel 7 Childrens Research Foundation  
Australia-India Strategic Research Fund (AISRF)  
Flinders Medical Centre Foundation  
Flinders University, Faculty of Health Science