Immunity to Fish Rhabdoviruses

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Purcell, Maureen K. ; Laing, Kerry J. ; Winton, James R. (2012)
  • Publisher: MDPI
  • Journal: Viruses, volume 4, issue 1, pages 140-166 (issn: 1999-4915, eissn: 1999-4915)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.3390/v4010140, pmc: PMC3280522
  • Subject: non-virion | Microbiology | neutralizing antibody | apoptosis | QR1-502 | novirhabdovirus | interferon | persistent infections | host-cell shutoff | immune evasion | Review | cell-mediated immunity
    mesheuropmc: viruses | biochemical phenomena, metabolism, and nutrition

Members of the family Rhabdoviridae are single-stranded RNA viruses and globally important pathogens of wild and cultured fish and thus relatively well studied in their respective hosts or other model systems. Here, we review the protective immune mechanisms that fish mount in response to rhabdovirus infections. Teleost fish possess the principal components of innate and adaptive immunity found in other vertebrates. Neutralizing antibodies are critical for long-term protection from fish rhabdoviruses, but several studies also indicate a role for cell-mediated immunity. Survival of acute rhabdoviral infection is also dependent on innate immunity, particularly the interferon (IFN) system that is rapidly induced in response to infection. Paradoxically, rhabdoviruses are sensitive to the effects of IFN but virulent rhabdoviruses can continue to replicate owing to the abilities of the matrix (M) protein to mediate host-cell shutoff and the non‑virion (NV) protein to subvert programmed cell death and suppress functional IFN. While many basic features of the fish immune response to rhabdovirus infections are becoming better understood, much less is known about how factors in the environment affect the ecology of rhabdovirus infections in natural populations of aquatic animals.
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