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Innate immune response of the Brazilian bats Desmodus rotundus and Tadarida brasiliensis to rabies Lyssavirus infections

Grant number: 18/22946-7
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: May 01, 2019 - April 30, 2021
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Veterinary Medicine - Preventive Veterinary Medicine
Principal researcher:Clarice Weis Arns
Grantee:Clarice Weis Arns
Home Institution: Instituto de Biologia (IB). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


Rabies is an ancient disease which is still present on all continents, except Antarctica. Different animals may play a role in rabies transmission and, in the Americas, the vampire bat Desmodus rotundus is one of the main reservoirs, being able to transmit the virus to susceptible individuals, mainly by biting. Although rabies is almost 100% lethal in susceptible hosts, different reports have shown the presence of anti-rabies antibodies in few species of wild animals, including distinct species of bats, indicating that these animals may survive virus infection. Such data have encouraged different studies which aim to understand the mechanisms of antiviral immunity in bats. Considering the importance of D. rotundus as a Rabies lyssavirus (RABV) reservoir and the lack of data on the immune response of bats, this project aims at the understanding of some aspects of the anti-viral innate immune response of RABV infected D. rotundus. In addition, we will evaluate the innate immune response of the insectivorous bat Tadarida brasiliensis, in which the infection by RABV has been frequently identified in the last few years. Hence, the main objective of this proposal is to better comprehend the virus/host interactions at a cellular level in bats and improve the knowledge on the immune mechanisms that may favor the virus persistence in these reservoirs. (AU)

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