Prof Richard Killington

BSc, PhD 1972, Birmingham
Emeritus Professor of Virology
School of Molecular and Cellular Biology

Background: SRC Post-doctoral Fellow, MRC Clinical Research Centre, Harrow, Lecturer at Leeds 1972-1983, Senior Lecturer at Leeds 1983-2003, (Research Associate, McMaster University 1979 sabbatical position), Head of Microbiology 2001-2004, Professor of Virology at Leeds 2003-present, Head of Biochemistry & Microbiology 2004-2005, Head of Infection and Immunity 2004-2006, Pro-Dean for Learning and Teaching 2007-present, Editorial Board: Future Virology, Awards: Society for General Microbiology 'Peter Wildy' Award for outstanding contribution to microbiology education 2004

Contact: Off Campus, email address for  

Research Interests

Virus-host Interactions

Current Projects

Virus infection in vitro involves a highly complicated series of molecular interactions which begin with the attachment of the virus to a receptor site on the host cell. In many cases the specificity of the receptor determines the host and tissue tropism of the virus. Replication of virus, once penetration has been achieved, is again dependent on specific host factors.

For many viruses study in vivo has been impossible as the host tropism may be restricted to primate, or solely human tissues. Most rhinoviruses are in this category, attaching only to the human ICAM-1 receptor, thus severely inhibiting studies in animal models. We have thus attempted to create a transgenic mouse model which allows replication of rhinoviruses in the respiratory tract. To this end we have studied the in vitro replication of rhinoviruses at several levels in a number of different cell lines, particularly those of murine origin. Transgenic mice which contain the human ICAM-1 receptor and any other necessary requisite genes have been constructed, thus allowing studies on the host response and other parameters of infection by rhinoviruses. Studies led by Professor Seb Johnson at Imperial College have now confirmed the validity of the model (Nature Medicine).

More recent studies, again in collaboration with Professor Dave Rowlands and Dr Toby Tuthill (Leeds) and Professor Jim Hogle (Harvard Medical School), have concentrated on the use of liposomes to study both poliovirus and rhinovirus cell-entry mechanisms. These studies are ongoing.


Goodwin S, Tuthill TJ, Arias A, Killington RA, Rowlands DJ Foot-and-Mouth Disease Virus Assembly: Processing of Recombinant Capsid Precursor by Exogenous Protease Induces Self-Assembly of Pentamers In Vitro in a Myristoylation-Dependent Manner J VIROL 83 11275-11282, 2009

Davis MP, Bottley G, Beales LP, Killington RA, Rowlands DJ, Tuthill TJ Recombinant VP4 of human rhinovirus induces permeability in model membranes J VIROL 82 4169-4174, 2008

Bartlett NW, Walton RP, Edwards MR, Aniscenko J, Caramori G, Zhu J, Glanville N, Choy KJ, Jourdan P, Burnet J, Tuthill TJ, Pedrick MS, Hurle MJ, Plumpton C, Sharp NA, Bussell JN, Swallow DM, Schwarze J, Guy B, WAlmond J, Jeffery PK, Lloyd CM, Papi A, Killington RA, Rowlands DJ, Blair ED, Clarke NJ, Johnston SL Mouse models of rhinovirus-induced disease and exacerbation of allergic airway inflammation NAT MED 14 199-204, 2008

Tuthill TJ, Rowlands DJ, Killington RA Picornavirus entry FUTURE VIROL 2 343-351, 2007

Xiao C, Tuthill TJ, Kelly CMB, Challinor LJ, Chipman PR, Killington RA, Rowlands DJ, Craig A, Rossmann MG Discrimination among rhinovirus serotypes for a variant ICAM-1 receptor molecule J VIROL 78 10034-10044, 2004

Tuthill TJ, Papadopoulos NG, Jourdan P, Challinor LJ, Sharp NA, Plumpton C, Shah K, Barnard S, Dash L, Burnet J, Killington RA, Rowlands DJ, Clarke NJ, Blair ED, Johnston SL Mouse respiratory epithelial cells support efficient replication of human rhinovirus. J Gen Virol 84 2829-2836, 2003
View abstract

Devine DA, Keech AP, Wood DJ, Killington RA, Boyes H, Doubleday B, Marsh PD Ultraviolet disinfection with a novel microwave-powered device J APPL MICROBIOL 91 786-794, 2001

Killington RA Virus Infections In Biology of Disease, 2001

Skinner GRB, Randall S, Billstrom M, Davies J, Ahmad A, Killington RA Synergistic interaction between components of disinfectant MRI-1 Intervirology, 2000

Alber DG, Killington RA, Stokes A Solid matrix-antibody-antigen complexes incorporating equine herpesvirus 1 glycoproteins C and D elicit anti-viral immune responses in BALB/c (H-2K(d)) and C3H (H-2Kk) mice Vaccine 19 895-901, 2000

Devine DA, Keech A, Wood DJ, Doubleday B, Killington RA, Marsh PD Antimicrobial effects of microwave-generated ultra-violet light Journal of Applied Microbiology, 1999

Nicklin J, Graeme-Cook K, Paget T, Killington RA Instant Notes in Microbiology, 1999

Heritage J, Evans EGV, Killington RA Microbiology in Action., 1999

Stokes A, Cameron RS, Marshall RN, Killington RA High level expression of equine herpesvirus 1 glycoproteins D and H and their role in protection against virus challenge in the C3H (H-2K(k)) murine model Virus Research 50 159-173, 1997
View abstract

Stokes A, Alber DG, Cameron RS, Marshall RN, Allen GP, Killington RA The production of a truncated form of baculovirus expressed EHV 1 glycoprotein C and its role in protection of C3H (H-2Kk) mice against virus challenge. Virus Research 44 97-109, 1996
View abstract

Stokes A, Alber DG, Greensill J, Amellal B, Carvalho R, Taylor LA, Doel TR, Killington RA, Halliburton IW, Meredith DM The expression of the proteins of equine herpesvirus 1 which share homology with herpes simplex virus 1 glycoproteins H&L. Virus Research 40 91-107, 1996

Killington RA, Stokes A, Hierholzer J Virus Purification In Virology Methods Manual, 1996

Hierholzer J, Killington RA, Stokes A Preparation of antigens In Virology Methods Manual, 1996

Hierholzer J, Killington RA, Stokes A Virus Isolation and quantitation In Virology Methods Manual, 1996

Heritage J, Evans EGV, Killington RA Introductory Microbiology, 1996

Killington RA Role of T-cells, virus neutralising antibodies and complement-mediated antibody lysis in the immune response against herpesvirus type-1 (EHV-1) infection of C3H (H-2k) and BALB/C (H-2d) mice. Research in Veterinary Science 59 205-213., 1995

Killington RA Inter- and intra-strain genomic variation in equine Herpesvirus type 1 isolates. Archives of Virology 134 19-178., 1994

Killington RA Glycoprotein 300 is encoded by gene 28 of equine herpesvirus type 1; a new family of herpesvirus membrane proteins? Journal of General Virology 73 2933-2940., 1992

Bonass WA, Elton DM, Halliburton IW, Killington RA, Meredith DM, Stocks JM, Taylor LA, Whittaker G Characterisation of the glycoproteins of equine herpesvirus type In Equine Infectious Diseases VI, 1992

Killington RA Viral infection In The Biology of Disease (2nd Edition)