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Title: Induction and evasion of the interferon system in bats
Author: McGuinness, Claire
ISNI:       0000 0004 5348 3464
Awarding Body: St George's, University of London
Current Institution: St George's, University of London
Date of Award: 2014
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It has become apparent in recent years that many viruses associated with both emerging (SARS coronavirus, Hendra virus, Nipah virus) and established (Iyssaviruses, including rabies and Ebola virus) pathogenic viral diseases in humans may have their origins in bats. In order to establish persistent infection, viruses must avoid being detected by the immune systems of their hosts. Many viruses have adapted mechanisms to evade innate antiviral immune responses, most notably, those of the interferon (IFN) induction and signalling pathways. Despite the recent prominence of bats as hosts of a range of viral pathogens, little is known about their immune systems or how the virus and bat hosts interact. Here we show that the IFN induction pathway appears to be intact in multiple bat species and that the IFN-~ genes of these bats appear to be comparable to their other mammalian counterparts. However, notable differences were observed in the promoter regions of these bat IFN-~ genes, suggesting that their regulation may be distinct. Furthermore, we found that the virally encoded IFN induction antagonists generated by viruses known to have their origin in bats (including Iyssaviruses and SARS coronavirus) inhibit the induction of IFN - ~ in bats and mammalian cell lines to similar degrees. These results demonstrate that an anomalous bat IFN-~ induction pathway is unlikely to be a factor affecting the ability of bats to seemingly host pathogenic viruses asymptomatically. It is also unlikely that host cell restriction and the initiation of a zoonotic event are a result of any aspect of the bat IFN-~ induction cascade. 3
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available