Prof Caroline Knox

 

Biography

1988 - 1993

PhD (University of the Witwatersrand)

1994 - 1997

Postdoctoral Fellow, Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem, Israel

1997 - 2003

Postdoctoral Fellow, University of St Andrews, Scotland

2004 - present

Senior lecturer

Head of Microbiology 

Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Biotechnology

Rhodes University

Academic Teaching

  • Microbiology II: Microbial genetics, Introductory Virology
  • Microbiology III: Eukaryotic Cell Biology, Advanced Virology, Immunology
  • Microbiology Honours: Animal cell culture, Emerging Infectious Diseases, Picornavirus biology

Research

Picornavirus-host cell interactions Picornaviruses are an economically important group of pathogens. Diseases caused by picornaviruses such as poliomyelitis, hepatitis A and human rhinitis pose significant threats to human health, as does Foot-and-Mouth disease to the beef and dairy industries in many countries. Although many reports describe the epidemiology and pathogenesis of such diseases, the molecular mechanisms by which picornaviruses interact with components of host cells they infect are poorly understood. Identifying such mechanisms will not only provide new knowledge of Picornavirus biology, but also may contribute to the urgently required development of more effective disease control strategies. My research utilises a model picornavirus, Theiler’s murine encephalomyelitis virus (TMEV), which is non-infectious for humans and livestock, and for which we have successfully developed a cell-culture infection system to study replication and assembly. The research is conducted in collaboration with institutes in the United Kingdom.

Virus discovery Acute infantile gastroenteritis is a significant health problem in southern Africa and worldwide, leading to high morbidity and mortality. Many cases are of unknown etiology. Rotaviruses are prime causative agents of gastrointestinal infections in southern Africa, but routine screening of stool samples from infants with acute gastroenteritis at the MRC Diarrhoeal Pathogen Research Unit based at MEDUNSA has revealed that a significant number of specimens test negative for this pathogen each year, suggesting the presence of novel or unrecognised viral pathogens. Enteric viruses are present in untreated or polluted water sources and are associated with waterborne transmission, thereby posing a significant health risk. This research involves the recovery and identification of existing and emerging viruses that have previously been found in association with gastroenteritis in humans.

Genetic characterisation of baculovirus for the control of insect pests Lepidopteran insects such as false codling moth, codling moth and diamondback moth are serious pests of citrus and other crops in Africa and worldwide, with considerable financial impact. Conventional pest management programmes rely on chemical insecticides which, although effective, can have negative environmental implications and lead to the development of pest resistance. Globally there has been increasing promise in the use of entomopathogenic microbes as biocontrol agents, specifically a group of naturally occurring insect viruses belonging to the baculovirus family. A range of baculovirus products, some locally produced, are registered for the control of insect pests in South Africa. This research, conducted in collaboration with the Centre of Biological Control, Rhodes University and Citrus Research International, South Africa, comprises a range of projects aimed at improving the efficacy of baculovirus biopesticides for control of economically important crop pests.

Current Student Supervision

Michael Jukes (Postdoctoral Fellow) Cell culture development for baculovirus production

Nicole Upfold (Postdoctoral Fellow) Picornavirus-host cell interactions

Marcel van der Merwe (PhD Microbiology) Yeast-baculovirus interaction in biocontrol

Iyanuoluwani Owolabi (PhD Microbiology) Picornavirus-host cell interactions

Petrus Iita (MSc Microbiology) Improved virulence of baculoviruses for false codling moth biocontrol

David Taylor (MSc Entomology) Baculovirus synergism in false codling moth biocontrol

Tahnee Bennett (MSc Entomology) Characterisation of UV-resistant baculoviruses for false codling moth biocontrol

Thuthula Mela (MSc Microbiology) Development of a qPCR assay for baculovirus enumeration

Recent publications

Oikwathaile Onosi, Nicole S. Upfold, Michael D. Jukes, Garry A. Luke and Caroline Knox. 2019. The First Detection of Human Bocavirus Species 2 and 3 in Raw Sewage and Mussels in South Africa. Food and Environmental Microbiology, https://doi.org/10.1007/s12560-019-09417-w

Oikwathaile Onosi, Nicole S. Upfold, Michael D. Jukes, Garry A. Luke and Caroline Knox. 2019. The first molecular detection of Aichi Virus 1 in raw sewage and mussels collected in South Africa. Food and Environmental Virology, 11: 96 - 100.

Wennmann, J.T., Eigenbrod, M., Marsberg, T., Moore, S.D., Knox, C.M., Hill, M.P., Jehle, J.A. 2019. Cryptophlebia peltastica nucleopolyhedrovirus is highly infectious to codling moth larvae and cells. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 85(17): 1-12.

Motsoeneng, B., Jukes, M.D., Knox, C.M., Hill, M.P., Moore, S.D. 2019. Genome analysis of a novel South African Cydia pomonella granulovirus (CpGV-SA) with resistance-breaking potential. Viruses, 11, 658: 1-10.

Marsberg, T., Jukes, M.D., Rabalski, L., Knox, C., Moore, S.D., Krejmer-Rabalska, M., Szewczyk, B., Hill, M.P. 2018. Morphological and genetic characterisation of a novel Alphabaculovirus isolated from Cryptophlebia peltastica (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae). Journal of Invertebrate Pathology, 157: 90-99.

Dubey, K.K., Garry A. Luke, Caroline Knox, Punit Kumar, Brett I. Pletschke, Puneet Kumar Singh and Pratyoosh Shukla. 2018. Vaccine and antibody production in plants: developments and computational tools. Briefings in Functional Genomics, 1–14.

Upfold, N., Ross, C., Tastan Bishop, O., Luke, G.A. and Knox, C. 2018. The generation and characterisation of neutralising antibodies against the Theiler’s murine encephalomyelitis virus (TMEV) GDVII capsid reveals the potential binding site of the host cell co-receptor, heparan sulfate. Virus Research, 244: 153–163

Marcel van der Merwe, Michael D. Jukes, Martyna Krejmer-Rabalska, Lukasz Rabalski, John K. Opoku-Debrah, Sean D. Moore, Martin P. Hill, Boguslaw Szewczyk, Caroline Knox. 2017. Genome analysis and genetic stability of the Cryptophlebia leucotreta granulovirus (CrleGV-SA), after 15 years of commercial use as a biopesticide. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18: 2327.

Vos, H. and Knox, C. 2017. The isolation and molecular identification of HAdV-D17 in raw sewage and mussel samples collected in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. Southern African Journal of Infectious Diseases. 1(1): 1-4.

Lloyd, M., Knox, C., Thackeray, S., Hill, M.P. and Moore, S.D. 2017. Isolation, identification and genetic characterisation of a microsporidium isolated from the carob moth, Ectomyelois ceratoniae (Zeller) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae). African Entomology. African Entomology 25(2): 529–533.

Ross, C., Tastan Bishop, O. and Knox, C. 2017. Interacting motif networks located in hotspots associated with RNA release are conserved in Enterovirus capsids. FEBS Lett. doi:10.1002/1873-3468.12663.

Ross, C., Upfold, N., Luke, G.A., Tastan Bishop, O. and Knox, C. 2016. Subcellular localisation of Theiler’s murine encephalomyelitis virus (TMEV) capsid subunit VP1 vis-á-vis host protein Hsp90. Virus Research 222: 53-63.

Jukes, M.D., Motsoeneng, B.M., Knox, C.M., Hill, M.P. and Moore, S.D. 2016. The complete genome sequences of two South African betabaculoviruses: Phthorimaea operculella granulovirus and Plutella xylostella granulovirus. Under Review in Archives of Virology.

Opoku-Debrah, J., Hill, M., Knox, C.M. and Moore, S.D. 2016. Heterogeneity in virulence relationships between Cryptophlebia leucotreta granulovirus isolates and geographically distinct host populations: lessons from codling moth resistance to CpGV-M. Biocontrol. DOI 10.1007/s10526-016-9728-1.

Abdulkadir, F., Knox, C., Marsberg, T., Hill, M.P. and Moore, S.D. 2015. Genetic and biological characterisation of a novel Plutella xylostella granulovirus, PlxyGV-SA. Biocontrol. 60: 507-515.

Knox, C., Moore, S.D., Luke, G.A. and Hill, M.P. 2015. Baculovirus-based strategies for the management of insect pests: a focus on development and application in South Africa. Biocontrol Science and Technology. 25(1): 1-20.

Opoku-Debrah, J., Hill, M., Knox, C.M. and Moore, S.D. 2014. Comparison of the biology of geographically distinct populations of the citrus pest, Thaumatotibia leucotreta (Meyrick) (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) in South Africa. African Entomology. 22(3): 530–537.

Jukes, M.D., Knox, C.M., Hill, M.P. and Moore, S.D. 2014. The isolation and genetic characterisation of a South African strain of Phthorimaea operculella granulovirus, PhopGV-SA. Virus Research. 183, 85-88.

Opoku-Debrah, J., Hill, M., Moore, S. and Knox, C. 2013. Overcrowding of false codling moth, Thaumatotibia leucotreta (Meyrick) leads to the isolation of five new Cryptophlebia leucotreta granulovirus (CrleGV-SA) isolates. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology 112: 219–228. 

Abdulkadir, F., Marsburg, T., Knox, C., Hill, M.P., Moore, S.D. 2013. Morphological and genetic characterization of a South African Plutella xylostella granulovirus (PlxyGV) isolate. African Entomology 21(1), 168-171.

Burt, F.J., Samudzi, R.R., Randall, C., Pieters, D., Vermeulen, J. & Knox, C.M. 2013. Human defined antigenic region on the nucleoprotein of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus identified using truncated proteins and a bioinformatics approach. Journal of Virological Methods 193(2): 706-712.

Caroline Knox, G.A. Luke, J.D Dewar, P. de Felipe, B. Williams. 2012. Aetiology of rotavirus and emerging Picornaviruses associated with acute viral gastroenteritis. Southern African Journal of Epidemiology and Infection 27(4): 141-148. 

Mutsvunguma, L., Edkins, A.L., Luke, G.A., Blatch, G.L. and Knox, C. 2011. Theiler's Murine Encephalomyelitis virus infection induces a redistribution of heat shock proteins 70 and 90 in BHK-21 cells, and is inhibited by novobiocin and geldanamycin. Cell Stress and Chaperones 16: 505-515. 

Knox, C. 2011. Emerging pests and vector-borne diseases in Europe. Volume 1, W Takken and BGJ Knols (Eds). African Entomology 19(1): 174-176. 

Knox, C., Luke, G.A., Blatch, G.L. and Pesce, E.-R. 2011. Review article entitled: Heat Shock Protein 40 (Hsp40) plays a key role in the virus life-cycle. Virus Res. 160: 15-24. 

Mutsvunguma, L., Edkins, A.L., Luke, G.A., Blatch, G.L. and Knox, C. 2011. Theiler's Murine Encephalomyelitis virus infection induces a redistribution of heat shock proteins 70 and 90 in BHK-21 cells, and is inhibited by novobiocin and geldanamycin. Cell Stress and Chaperones 16: 505-515.

Jauka, J., Mutsvuguma, l., Boshoff, A., Edkins, A.L., Knox, C. 2010. Localisation of Theiler's Murine Encephalomyelitis virus protein 2C to the Golgi apparatus using antibodies generated against a peptide region. Journal of Virological Methods 168: 162-169.

Short, J.S., Knox, C., Dorrington, R.A.2010. Subcellular localisation and live cell imaging of the Helicoverpa armigera stunt virus 1 replicase in mammalian and Spodpoptera frugiperda cells. J. Gen. Virol. 91: 1514-1523.

Murray, L., Luke, G., Ryan, M. D., Wileman, T., Knox, C. 2009. Amino acid substitutions within the 2C coding sequence of Theiler’s Murine Encephalomyelitis virus alter virus growth and affect protein distribution. Virus Res. 144: 74-82.

Moffat, K., Knox, C., Howell, G., Clarke, S.J., Yang, H., Belsham, G.J., Ryan, M.D., Wileman, T. 2007. Inhibition of the secretory pathway by Foot-and-Mouth Disease Virus 2BC protein is reproduced by coexpression of 2B with 2C, and the site of inhibition is determined by the subcellular location of 2C. J. Virol. 81: 1129-1139.

Moffat, K., Howell, G., Knox, C., Belsham, G.J., Monaghan, P., Ryan, M.D., Wileman, T. 2005. Effects of Foot-and-Mouth Disease virus non-structural proteins on the structure and function of the early secretory pathway: 2BC but not 3A blocks ER to Golgi transport. J. Virol. 79: 4382-4395.

Knox, C., Moffat, K., Ali, S., Ryan, M. D., Wileman, T. 2005. Foot-and-mouth disease virus replication sites form next to the nucleus and Golgi apparatus, but exclude marker proteins associated with host membrane compartments. J. Gen. Virol. 86: 687-696.

Oikwathaile Onosi, Nicole S. Upfold, Michael D. Jukes, Garry A. Luke and Caroline Knox. Molecular detection of Aichi Virus 1 in raw sewage and mussels collected in South Africa. Food and Env Virol, Under review.

Marsberg, T., Jukes, M.D., Rabalski, L., Knox, C., Moore, S.D., Krejmer-Rabalska, M., Szewczyk, B., Hill, M.P. 2018. Morphological and genetic characterisation of a novel Alphabaculovirus isolated from Cryptophlebia peltastica (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae). Journal of Invertebrate Pathology, 157, 90-99.

Dubey, K.K., Garry A. Luke, Caroline Knox, Punit Kumar, Brett I. Pletschke, Puneet Kumar Singh and Pratyoosh Shukla. 2018. Vaccine and antibody production in plants: developments and computational tools. Briefings in Functional Genomics, 1–14.

Upfold, N., Ross, C., Tastan Bishop, O., Luke, G.A. and Knox, C. 2018. The generation and characterisation of neutralising antibodies against the Theiler’s murine encephalomyelitis virus (TMEV) GDVII capsid reveals the potential binding site of the host cell co-receptor, heparan sulfate. Virus Research, 244: 153–163

Marcel van der Merwe, Michael D. Jukes, Martyna Krejmer-Rabalska, Lukasz Rabalski, John K. Opoku-Debrah, Sean D. Moore, Martin P. Hill, Bogus?aw Szewczyk, Caroline Knox. 2017. Genome analysis and genetic stability of the Cryptophlebia leucotreta granulovirus (CrleGV-SA), after 15 years of commercial use as a biopesticide. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 2327; doi:10.3390/ijms18112327.

Vos, H. and Knox, C. 2017. The isolation and molecular identification of HAdV-D17 in raw sewage and mussel samples collected in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. Southern African Journal of Infectious Diseases. 1(1): 1-4.

Lloyd, M., Knox, C., Thackeray, S., Hill, M.P. and Moore, S.D. 2017. Isolation, identification and genetic characterisation of a microsporidium isolated from the carob moth, Ectomyelois ceratoniae (Zeller) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae). African Entomology. African Entomology 25(2): 529–533.

Ross, C., Tastan Bishop, O. and Knox, C. 2017. Interacting motif networks located in hotspots associated with RNA release are conserved in Enterovirus capsids. FEBS Lett. doi:10.1002/1873-3468.12663.

Ross, C., Upfold, N., Luke, G.A., Tastan Bishop, O. and Knox, C. 2016. Subcellular localisation of Theiler’s murine encephalomyelitis virus (TMEV) capsid subunit VP1 vis-á-vis host protein Hsp90. Virus Research 222: 53-63.

Jukes, M.D., Motsoeneng, B.M., Knox, C.M., Hill, M.P. and Moore, S.D. 2016. The complete genome sequences of two South African betabaculoviruses: Phthorimaea operculella granulovirus and Plutella xylostella granulovirus. Under Review in Archives of Virology.

Opoku-Debrah, J., Hill, M., Knox, C.M. and Moore, S.D. 2016. Heterogeneity in virulence relationships between Cryptophlebia leucotreta granulovirus isolates and geographically distinct host populations: lessons from codling moth resistance to CpGV-M. Biocontrol. DOI 10.1007/s10526-016-9728-1.

Abdulkadir, F., Knox, C., Marsberg, T., Hill, M.P. and Moore, S.D. 2015. Genetic and biological characterisation of a novel Plutella xylostella granulovirus, PlxyGV-SA. Biocontrol. 60: 507-515.

Knox, C., Moore, S.D., Luke, G.A. and Hill, M.P. 2015. Baculovirus-based strategies for the management of insect pests: a focus on development and application in South Africa. Biocontrol Science and Technology. 25(1): 1-20.

Opoku-Debrah, J., Hill, M., Knox, C.M. and Moore, S.D. 2014. Comparison of the biology of geographically distinct populations of the citrus pest, Thaumatotibia leucotreta (Meyrick) (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) in South Africa. African Entomology. 22(3): 530–537.

Jukes, M.D., Knox, C.M., Hill, M.P. and Moore, S.D. 2014. The isolation and genetic characterisation of a South African strain of Phthorimaea operculella granulovirus, PhopGV-SA. Virus Research. 183, 85-88.

Opoku-Debrah, J., Hill, M., Moore, S. and Knox, C. 2013. Overcrowding of false codling moth, Thaumatotibia leucotreta (Meyrick) leads to the isolation of five new Cryptophlebia leucotreta granulovirus (CrleGV-SA) isolates. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology 112: 219–228. 

Abdulkadir, F., Marsburg, T., Knox, C., Hill, M.P., Moore, S.D. 2013. Morphological and genetic characterization of a South African Plutella xylostella granulovirus (PlxyGV) isolate. African Entomology 21(1), 168-171.

Burt, F.J., Samudzi, R.R., Randall, C., Pieters, D., Vermeulen, J. & Knox, C.M. 2013. Human defined antigenic region on the nucleoprotein of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus identified using truncated proteins and a bioinformatics approach. Journal of Virological Methods 193(2): 706-712.

Caroline Knox, G.A. Luke, J.D Dewar, P. de Felipe, B. Williams. 2012. Aetiology of rotavirus and emerging Picornaviruses associated with acute viral gastroenteritis. Southern African Journal of Epidemiology and Infection 27(4): 141-148. 

Mutsvunguma, L., Edkins, A.L., Luke, G.A., Blatch, G.L. and Knox, C. 2011. Theiler's Murine Encephalomyelitis virus infection induces a redistribution of heat shock proteins 70 and 90 in BHK-21 cells, and is inhibited by novobiocin and geldanamycin. Cell Stress and Chaperones 16: 505-515. 

Knox, C. 2011. Emerging pests and vector-borne diseases in Europe. Volume 1, W Takken and BGJ Knols (Eds). African Entomology 19(1): 174-176. 

Knox, C., Luke, G.A., Blatch, G.L. and Pesce, E.-R. 2011. Review article entitled: Heat Shock Protein 40 (Hsp40) plays a key role in the virus life-cycle. Virus Res. 160: 15-24. 

Mutsvunguma, L., Edkins, A.L., Luke, G.A., Blatch, G.L. and Knox, C. 2011. Theiler's Murine Encephalomyelitis virus infection induces a redistribution of heat shock proteins 70 and 90 in BHK-21 cells, and is inhibited by novobiocin and geldanamycin. Cell Stress and Chaperones 16: 505-515.

Jauka, J., Mutsvuguma, l., Boshoff, A., Edkins, A.L., Knox, C. 2010. Localisation of Theiler's Murine Encephalomyelitis virus protein 2C to the Golgi apparatus using antibodies generated against a peptide region. Journal of Virological Methods 168: 162-169.

Short, J.S., Knox, C., Dorrington, R.A.2010. Subcellular localisation and live cell imaging of the Helicoverpa armigera stunt virus 1 replicase in mammalian and Spodpoptera frugiperda cells. J. Gen. Virol. 91: 1514-1523.

Murray, L., Luke, G., Ryan, M. D., Wileman, T., Knox, C. 2009. Amino acid substitutions within the 2C coding sequence of Theiler’s Murine Encephalomyelitis virus alter virus growth and affect protein distribution. Virus Res. 144: 74-82.

Moffat, K., Knox, C., Howell, G., Clarke, S.J., Yang, H., Belsham, G.J., Ryan, M.D., Wileman, T. 2007. Inhibition of the secretory pathway by Foot-and-Mouth Disease Virus 2BC protein is reproduced by coexpression of 2B with 2C, and the site of inhibition is determined by the subcellular location of 2C. J. Virol. 81: 1129-1139.

Moffat, K., Howell, G., Knox, C., Belsham, G.J., Monaghan, P., Ryan, M.D., Wileman, T. 2005. Effects of Foot-and-Mouth Disease virus non-structural proteins on the structure and function of the early secretory pathway: 2BC but not 3A blocks ER to Golgi transport. J. Virol. 79: 4382-4395.

Knox, C., Moffat, K., Ali, S., Ryan, M. D., Wileman, T. 2005. Foot-and-mouth disease virus replication sites form next to the nucleus and Golgi apparatus, but exclude marker proteins associated with host membrane compartments. J. Gen. Virol. 86: 687-696.

Contact details

Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology,

Rhodes University

Grahamstown 6140

South Africa

Tel: +27 46 6038023

Fax: +27 46 6037576

Email: caroline.knox@ru.ac.za

Last Modified: Wed, 11 Dec 2019 12:07:18 SAST