The role of immune responses in the pathogenesis of rabies
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In the absence of treatment, infection with a variety of rabies virus strains most often results in a lethal outcome. This can be averted by prompt immunization following exposure demonstrating that the development of anti-rabies viral immunity prior to extensive infection of neurons is protective. Otherwise it might be expected that immune clearance of the virus would result in neurological sequelae. Thus, the capacity of a rabies virus to induce a protective immune response is a major, negative determinant of its pathogenicity and highly pathogenic rabies viruses have characteristics that avoid triggering protective immune responses. On the other hand, there is evidence that certain aspects of immunity may contribute to the pathogenesis of rabies under certain circumstances. The relationship between rabies virus and the immune system of the host is the focus of this review.
Keywordsimmunology immunopathology rabies virus
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