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Egyptian rousette bats maintain long-term protective immunity against Marburg virus infection despite diminished antibody levels
  • Published Date:
    Aug 18 2017
  • Source:
    Sci Rep. 7.
Filetype[PDF-1.17 MB]

  • Alternative Title:
    Sci Rep
  • Description:
    Although bats are natural reservoir hosts for numerous zoonotic viruses, little is known about the long-term dynamics of the host immune response following infection and how these viruses are maintained in nature. The Egyptian rousette bat (ERB) is a known reservoir host for Marburg virus (MARV). Following infection of ERBs with MARV, virus-specific IgG antibodies are induced but rapidly wane and by 3 months post-infection the bats are seronegative. To determine whether reinfection of ERBs plays a role in MARV maintenance, we challenge groups of ERBs that were "naturally" or experimentally infected with MARV 17-24 months prior. No bats in either group exhibit evidence of MARV replication or shedding and all bats develop virus-specific secondary immune responses. This study demonstrates that infection of ERBs with MARV induces long-term protective immunity against reinfection and indicates that other factors, such as host population dynamics, drive MARV maintenance in nature.

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