Sandani V T Wijerathne

  • Designation: Alabama State University
  • Country: USA
  • Title: Feline Coronavirus Influences the Biogenesis and Composition of Extracellular Vesicles Derived from CRFK Cells


Sandani Wijerathne is a third-year PhD student in Microbiology at Alabama State University. Her research focuses on the impact of Feline Coronavirus (FCoV) on extracellular vesicle (EV) production and content under the supervision of Dr. Qiana Matthews. She investigates how FCoV infection alters EV biogenesis and intracellular trafficking in host cells, seeking to understand their role in viral propagation among various species. Sandani completed her B.Sc in Biomedical Sciences from Minnesota State University, Mankato. She is devoted to improving the current understanding of virus-host interactions, aiming to develop novel therapeutic approaches to prevent future coronavirus outbreaks and other viral infections.


Coronavirus (CoV) has become a public health crisis that causes numerous illnesses in humans and certain animals. Studies have identified the small, lipid-bound structures called extracellular vesicles (EVs) as the mechanism for viruses to enter host cells, spread, and evade the host's immune defenses. We proposed that the coronavirus could alter EV production and content and influence EV biogenesis and composition in host cells. In the current research, Crandell-Rees feline kidney (CRFK) cells were infected with feline coronavirus (FCoV) in an exosome-free media at a multiplicity of infection (MOI) of 2500 infectious units (IFU) at 48h and 72h time points. Cell viability was analyzed, and it was found that cell viability significantly decreased due to FCoV infection. NanoSight particle tracking analysis (NTA) confirmed that EV sizes averaged between 100 and 200 nm at both incubation points. Expression of specific protein markers such as TMPRSS2, ACE2, Alix, TSG101, CDs, TLRs, TNF-α, and others were altered in infection-derived EVs compared to control-derived EVs after FCoV infection. Our findings suggested that feline coronavirus infection could alter the EV production and composition in host cells, affecting the infection's progression and disease evolution. One purpose of studying EVs in various animal coronaviruses that are in close contact with humans is to provide significant information about disease development, transmission, and adaptation. Hence, this study suggests that EVs could provide diagnostic and therapeutic applications in animal CoVs, and such understanding could provide information to prevent future coronavirus outbreaks.

Don't miss our future updates!

Get in Touch