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© Institut Pasteur
Culture de myotubes murins infectés par le virus de la rage fixe, observée en immunoflorescence indirecte.

About

The virulence of a microbe is related to its capacity to invade host tissues and successfully promote its own multiplication and dissemination. Rabies virus, a neurotropic virus that causes fatal encephalitis in mammals, has developed a unique strategy to ensure its propagation into the nervous system: its virulence correlates with its ability to avoid premature apoptosis of the infected neurons and to preserve the integrity of axons/dendrites and without. Surprisingly enough, the rabies virus does not trigger the death of the infected neurons, but promotes their survival instead. Moreover, this virus sneaks through the nervous system by disarming the defences’ mechanisms of the host. As a result, the virus can propagate and travel in the nervous system from the site of the bite up to the salivary glands from where it is excreted with saliva.

 

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