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Modulation of the immune response in the nervous system by rabies virus.

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Unité de Neuroimmunologie Virale, Département de Neuroscience, Institut Pasteur, 25 rue du Dr Roux, 75724 Paris Cedex 15, France.


Rabies virus (RABV) is a pathogen well-adapted to the nervous system, where it infects neurons. RABV is transmitted by the bite of an infected animal. It enters the nervous system via a motor neuron through the neuromuscular junction, or via a sensory nerve through nerve spindles. It then travels from one neuron to the next, along the spinal cord to the brain and the salivary glands. The virions are then excreted in the saliva of the animal and can be transmitted to another host by bite. Thus preservation of neuronal network integrity is crucial for the virus to be transmitted. Successful invasion of the nervous system by RABV seems to be the result of a subversive strategy based on the survival of infected neurons. This strategy includes protection against virus-mediated apoptosis and destruction of T cells that invade the CNS in response to infection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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