Caister Academic Press

Immune (Adaptive) Response in Bats

Peng Zhou
from: Bats and Viruses: Current Research and Future Trends (Edited by: Eugenia Corrales-Aguilar and Martin Schwemmle). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2020) Pages: 135-148.


Bats naturally harbour a variety of viruses. Some of these viruses could infect humans and lead to deadly diseases but cause no clinical symptoms in bats. The ability of bats to coexist with viruses may be explained by their ability to quickly control viral replication, as well as having a good tolerance to viral diseases. The human immune system consists of innate and adaptive immunity. The adaptive immune responses, mediated mainly by T-cell-mediated immune response and B cells responses, are pathogen-specific and long lasting. The development of bat adaptive immunity has been unbalanced, with the majority of studies focusing on antibody responses. As natural harbourers of viruses, it is probable that bats maintain strong antibody reactions. Here, we summarised the findings from bat adaptive immunity studies. We found bat antibody responses against viral infection may not be as important as initially thought. In fact, early interferon response and cell-mediated immunity may play major antiviral roles; however, these are poorly studied in bats. The purpose of this chapter is to provide an update of the knowledge about bat adaptive immune responses, and also to foster future studies in this area read more ...
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