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Viruses. 2019 Feb 23;11(2). pii: E192. doi: 10.3390/v11020192.

Immune System Modulation and Viral Persistence in Bats: Understanding Viral Spillover.

Author information

1
Department of Microbiology, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5B4, Canada. sonu.subudhi@usask.ca.
2
Department of Microbiology, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5B4, Canada. noreen.rapin@usask.ca.
3
Department of Microbiology, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5B4, Canada. vikram.misra@usask.ca.

Abstract

Bats harbor a myriad of viruses and some of these viruses may have spilled over to other species including humans. Spillover events are rare and several factors must align to create the "perfect storm" that would ultimately lead to a spillover. One of these factors is the increased shedding of virus by bats. Several studies have indicated that bats have unique defense mechanisms that allow them to be persistently or latently infected with viruses. Factors leading to an increase in the viral load of persistently infected bats would facilitate shedding of virus. This article reviews the unique nature of bat immune defenses that regulate virus replication and the various molecular mechanisms that play a role in altering the balanced bat⁻virus relationship.

KEYWORDS:

Immune response; bats; flight; immune tolerance; spillover; viral persistence; viruses

PMID:
30813403
PMCID:
PMC6410205
DOI:
10.3390/v11020192
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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