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Cell. 2018 May 17;173(5):1098-1110.e18. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2018.03.070. Epub 2018 Apr 26.

The Egyptian Rousette Genome Reveals Unexpected Features of Bat Antiviral Immunity.

Author information

1
Department of Microbiology, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA 02118, USA.
2
Center for Genome Sciences, United States Army Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), Frederick, MD 21702, USA.
3
Viral Special Pathogens Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA.
4
Departments of Systems Biology and Biomedical Informatics, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032, USA.
5
National Center for Biotechnology Information, National Library of Medicine, NIH, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.
6
Department of Microbiology, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA 02118, USA; National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratory, Boston University, Boston, MA 02118, USA.
7
Center for Genome Sciences, United States Army Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), Frederick, MD 21702, USA; Department of Pathology and Microbiology, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68198, USA.
8
Department of Microbiology, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA 02118, USA; Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Boston University, Boston, MA 02215, USA; National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratory, Boston University, Boston, MA 02118, USA. Electronic address: tbkepler@bu.edu.
9
Center for Genome Sciences, United States Army Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), Frederick, MD 21702, USA. Electronic address: gustavo.f.palacios.ctr@mail.mil.

Abstract

Bats harbor many viruses asymptomatically, including several notorious for causing extreme virulence in humans. To identify differences between antiviral mechanisms in humans and bats, we sequenced, assembled, and analyzed the genome of Rousettus aegyptiacus, a natural reservoir of Marburg virus and the only known reservoir for any filovirus. We found an expanded and diversified KLRC/KLRD family of natural killer cell receptors, MHC class I genes, and type I interferons, which dramatically differ from their functional counterparts in other mammals. Such concerted evolution of key components of bat immunity is strongly suggestive of novel modes of antiviral defense. An evaluation of the theoretical function of these genes suggests that an inhibitory immune state may exist in bats. Based on our findings, we hypothesize that tolerance of viral infection, rather than enhanced potency of antiviral defenses, may be a key mechanism by which bats asymptomatically host viruses that are pathogenic in humans.

KEYWORDS:

Chiroptera; antiviral immunity; filovirus; genome; innate immunity; natural killer cell receptors; type I interferon

PMID:
29706541
DOI:
10.1016/j.cell.2018.03.070

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