Research in the Division of Virology and Molecular Biology

Head of division: Vilhjálmur Svansson.

Scope of activities: Immunology, prion diseases, molecular biology, and virology.
 Basic research
- Maedi-visna virus
- Summer eczema
- Equine viruses
- Prion diseases
- Fish immunology - Arctic char


Members of the Division publish their findings on a regular basis in peer-reviewed journals. Publications over the last five years are listed below and show the high variety of research projects in which members are involved.

Published papers authored by members of the Division

Chosson, V., Randhawa, H. S., Sigurðsson, G. M., Halldórsson, S. D., Björnsson, Þ. Þ., Svansson, V., Granquist, S. M., Gunnarsson, K., Samarra, F. I. P., & Pampoulie, C. (2023). First record of Risso's dolphin Grampus griseus (Cuvier, 1812) in Icelandic waters. Ecology and Evolution, 13, e10477.

Hu Y, Gudnadóttir RB, Knecht KM, Arizaga F, Jónsson SR, Xiong Y. Structural basis for recruitment of host CypA and E3 ubiquitin ligase by maedi-visna virus Vif. Science Advances 2023. 9:eadd3422.

Günther A, Krone O, Svansson V, Pohlmann A, King J, Hallgrimsson GT, Skarphéðinsson KH, Sigurðardóttir H, Jónsson SR, Beer M, Brugger B, Harder T. Iceland as Stepping Stone for Spread of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Virus between Europe and North America. Emerg Infect Dis. 2022, 28(12).

Luperchio AM, Jónsson SR, Salamango DJ. Evolutionary Conservation of PP2A Antagonism and G2/M Cell Cycle Arrest in Maedi-Visna Virus Vif. Viruses 2022, 14(8), 1701;

Stefansdottir SB, Jonsdottir S, Kristjansdottir H, Svansson V, Marti E, Torsteinsdottir S. Establishment of a protocol for preventive vaccination against equine insect bite hypersensitivity. Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology. 2022, 253:110502.

Birras J, White SJ, Jonsdottir S, Novotny EN, Ziegler A, Wilson AD, Frey R, Torsteinsdottir S, Alcocer M, Marti E. First clinical expression of equine insect bite hypersensitivity is associated with co-sensitization to multiple Culicoides allergens. PLoS ONE, November 15, 2021.

D´Alessio S, Thorgeirsdottir S, Kraev I, Skirnisson K, Lange S. Post-Translational Protein Deimination Signatures in Plasma and Plasma EVs of Reindeer (Rangifer tarandus). Biology 2021, 10.

March ME, Gutierrez-Uzquiza A, Snorradottir AO, Matsuoka LS, Balvis NF, Gestsson T, o.fl.. NAC blocks Cystatin C amyloid complex aggregation in a cell system and in skin of HCCAA patients. Nature communications, 2021;12.

Marti E, Novotny EN, Cvitas I, Ziegler A, Wilson AD, Torsteinsdottir S, Fettelschoss-Gabriel A, Jonsdottir S. Immunopathogenesis and immunotherapy of Culicoides hypersensitivity in horses: an update. Veterinary dermatology 2021, 32:579-e156, .

Martin F, Svansson V, Eydal M, Oddsdóttir C, Ernback M, Persson I, o.fl.. First Report of Resistance to Ivermectin in Parascaris univalens in Iceland . The Journal of Parasitology, 2021;107(1).

Thorsteinsdóttir L, Guðmundsson GÖ, Jensson H, Torsteinsdottir S, Svansson V. Isolation of equid alphaherpesvirus 3 from a horse in Iceland with equine coital exanthema. Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica, 2021;63(5).

Knecht KM, Hu Y, Rubene D, Cook M, Ziegler SJ, Jónsson SR, et al. Maedi-visna virus Vif protein uses motifs distinct from HIV-1 Vif to bind zinc and cofactor required for A3 degradation. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 2020.

Magnadottir B, Uysal-Onganer P, Kraev I, Svansson V, Hayes P, Lange S. Deiminated proteins and extracellular vesicles - novel serum biomarkers in whales and Orca. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology - Part D: Genomics and Proteomics. 2020.

Magnadottir B, Uysal-Onganer P, Kraev I, Svansson V, Skirnisson K, Lange S. Deiminated Proteins and Extracellular Vesicles as Novel Biomarkers in Pinnipeds: Grey seal (Halichoerus gryptus) and Harbour seal (Phoca vitulina). Biochimie. 2020.

Novotny EL, White SJ, Wilson AD, Stefansdottir SB, Tijhaar E, Jonsdottir S, et al. Component‐resolved microarray analysis of IgE sensitization profiles to Culicoides recombinant allergens in horses with insect bite hypersensitivity. Allergy. 2020.

Rahza F, Ivanek R, Freer H, Reiche D, Rose H, Torsteinsdottir S, et al. Cul o 2 specific IgG3/5 antibodies predicted Culicoides hypersensitivity in a group imported Icelandic horses. BMC Veterinary Research. 2020;16.

Holmes CM, Violette N, Miller D, Wagner B, Svansson V, Antczak DF. MHC haplotype diversity in Icelandic horses determined by polymorphic microsatellites. Genes & Immunity. 2019.

Jonsdottir S, Cvitas I, Svansson V, Fettelschloss-Gabriel A, Torsteinsdottir S, Marti E. New Strategies for Prevention and Treatment of Insect Bite Hypersensitivity in Horses. Current Dermatology Reports. 2019.

Thorsteinsdóttir L, Jonsdottir S, Stefansdottir SB, Andrésdóttir V, Wagner B, Marti E, et al. The effect of maternal immunity on the equine gammaherpesvirus type 2 and 5 viral load and antibody response. PLoS One. 2019;14(6).

Andrésdóttir V. Maedi-visna virus as a model for HIV. Icelandic Agricultural Sciences. 2018;31:23-47.

Jonsdottir S, Stefansdottir SB, Kristinarson SB, Svansson V, Bjornsson JM, Runarsdottir A, et al. Barley produced Culicoides allergens are suitable for monitoring the immune response of horses immunized with E. coli expressed allergens. Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology. 2018;201:32-37.

Torsteinsdottir S, Scheidegger S, Baselgia S, Jonsdottir S, Svansson V, Björnsdóttir S, et al. A prospective study on insect bite hypersensitivity in horses exported from Iceland into Switzerland. Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica. 2018;60(1).

Ziegler A, Hamza E, Jonsdottir S, Rhyner C, Wagner B, Schüpbach G, et al. Longitudinal analysis of allergen-specific IgE and IgG subclasses as potential predictors of insect bite hypersensitivity following first exposure to Culicoides in Icelandic horses. Vet Dermatol. 2018;29:51-e22.

Arnarson H, Pálsson A, Gudnadóttir M, Andrésdóttir V. Maedi-visna virus persistence: Antigenic variation and latency. Comparative Immunology, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. 2017;55:6-12.

Björnsdóttir S, Harris SR, Svansson V, Gunnarsson E, Sigurðardóttir ÓG, Gammeljord K, et al. Genomic dissection of an Icelandic epidemic of respiratory disease in horses and associated zoonotic cases. mBio. 2017;8(4).

Colas AB, Maskell DP, Serrao E, Locke J, Swuec P, Jónsson SR, et al. A supramolecular assembly mediates lentiviral DNA integration. Science. 2017;355:93-95.

dePablo-Maiso L, Glaria I, Crespo H, Nistal-Villán E, Andrésdóttir V, deAndrés D, et al. Characterization of Ovine A3Z1 Restriction Properties against Small Ruminant Lentiviruses (SRLVs). Viruses. 2017;9(11).

Jonsdottir S, Svansson V, Stefansdottir SB, Mäntylä E, Marti E, Torsteinsdottir S. Oral administration of transgenic barley expressing a Culicoides allergen induces specific antibody response. Equine Veterinary Journal . 2017;49:512-518.

Snorradottir AO, Isaksson HJ, Ingthorsson S, Olafsson E, Palsdottir A, Bragason BTh. Pathological changes in basement membranes and dermal connective tissue of skin from patients with hereditary cystatin C amyloid angiopathy. Lab Invest. 2017;97:383-394.