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Faculty Detail    
Campus Address CHB 309
Phone  (205) 934-2441
Other websites

Faculty Appointment(s)
Appointment Type Department Division Rank
Primary  Pediatrics   Ped - Infectious Disease Professor
Secondary  Microbiology  Microbiology Associate Professor
Center  General Clinical Research Center  Center for Women's Reproductive Health Professor
Center  Comprehensive Cancer Center  Comprehensive Cancer Center Professor

Graduate Biomedical Sciences Affiliations

Research/Clinical Interest
Viral diversity in congenital cytomegalovirus infection
Our laboratory is interested in the pathogenesis and natural history of CMV-related hearing loss, and we are also interested in examining correlates of outcome in congenital CMV infection. The majority of children with congenital CMV infection are asymptomatic at birth, but 10-15% will develop hearing loss. The pathogenesis of CMV-related hearing loss is not understood, and currently there are no markers to identify those children at risk for sequelae. We are currently examining the biological behavior or strains isolated from children with congenital infection, and correlating this with viral gene expression profiles to determine if differences in viral genomes and expression are responsible for the differences in biological behavior. As part of this study, we have demonstrated that approximately 1/3 of children are infected with multiple strains of CMV, and that different CMV genotypes can be found in different sites of CMV shedding. As children with congenital CMV harbor large amounts of virus for many years, we hypothesize that this diversity is likely generated by high levels of virus replication and higher viral diversity leads to adverse outcome in this infection. We are currently examining the effects of factors that alter viral replication; the immune response and antiviral therapy, on changes in viral populations over time. By determining the overall significance of viral diversity in congenital CMV infection, and further defining how selective pressures affect diversity and subsequent sequelae, we will then be able to define correlates of SNHL and design better antivirals to improve long term outcomes in infants with congenital CMV.

Selected Publications 
Publication PUBMEDID
Novak, Z, Chowdhury, N, Ross, SA, Pati, S, Fowler, KB, Boppana SB. Diagnostic consequences of cytomegalovirus glycoprotein B polymorphisms. J Clin Microbiol 49:3033-3035, 2011.   21653769 
Boppana SB, Ross SA, Palmer AL, Ahmed A, Michaels MG, Sanchez PJ, Bernstein DI, Tolan RW, Novak Z, Chowdhury N, Britt WJ, Fowler KB. Saliva polymerase chain reaction assays for newborn cytomegalovirus screening. N Engl J Med 364:2111-2118, 2011.
Arora N, Novak Z, Fowler KB, Boppana S, Ross SA. Cytomegalovirus viruria and DNAemia in healthy seropositive women. J Infect Dis 202 :1800-1803, 2010. PMCID: PMC2988109,   21050121 
Boppana SB, Ross SA, Novak Z, Shimamura M, Tolan RW, Palmer AL, Ahmed A, Michaels MG, Sanchez PJ, Bernstein DI, Britt WJ, Fowler KB. Dried blood spot real-time polymerase chain reaction assays to screen newborns for congenital cytomegalovirus infection. JAMA 303: 1375-1382, 2010. PMCID:PMC2997571  20388893 
Ross SA, Arora N, Novak Z, Fowler KB, Britt WJ, Boppana SB. Cytomegalovirus reinfections in healthy seroimmune women. J Infect Dis 201:386-389,2010. PMCID: PMC2804773  20039807 
Ross SA, Novak Z, Fowler KB, Arora N, Britt WJ, Boppana SB. Cytomegalovirus blood viral load and hearing loss in young children with congenital infection. Pediatr Infect Dis J 28 : 588-592, 2009.   19478688 
Novak Z, Ross SA, Patro RK, Pati SK, Reddy MK, Purser M, Britt WJ, Boppana SB. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay method for detection of cytomegalovirus strain-specific antibody responses. Clin Vaccine Immunol 16 :288-290, 2009. PMCID: PMC2643547,

Novak Z, Ross SA, Patro RK, Pati SK, Kumbla R, Brice S, Boppana SB. Cytomegalovirus strain diversity in seropositive women. J Clin Microbiol 46:882-886, 2008. PMCID:PMC2268346

Ross, SA, Novak Z, Kumbla R, Zhang K, Fowler K, and Boppana S. GJB2 and GJB6 mutations in children with congenital cytomegalovirus infection. Pediatr Res 61:687-691, 2007.   17426645 
Ross SA, , Novak Z, , Pati, S, Patro RK, Blumenthal, J, Danthuluri, VR, Ahmed A, Michaels MG, Sanchez PJ, Bernstein DI, Tolan RW, Palmer AL, Britt, WJ, Fowler, KB, Boppana SB. Mixed infection and strain diversity in congenital cytomegalovirus infection. J Infect Dis 204:1003-1007, 2011.   21881114  

cytomegalovirus, congenital infection, viral diversity