1 Introduction</h5> The rabies virus (RABV), of the family Rhabdoviridae , is a highly neurotropic virus that usually causes a fatal infection in the central nervous systems (CNS) of all warm-blooded animals ( Bourhy and Sureau, 1990 ). Rabies virus is the causative agent of rabies, a zoonotic disease, which remains an important public health issue in that it causes 55,000 human deaths annually worldwide ( WHO, 2005 ). The main feature of RABV is neuroinvasiveness, which refers to its unique ability to invade the CNS from peripheral sites and is major facet of its pathogenicity.</P>Microglia, bone marrow-derived, macrophage-like cells exert a central role in immune surveillance and host defense against infectious agents in the CNS ( Rock et al., 2004 ). Microglia are activated early in response to infection or injury and are major players in both innate and immune-mediated CNS inflammatory responses ( Olson et al., 2001 ). Microglia act as scavengers (phagocytes) and antigen-presenting cells in the CNS, control the proliferation of astrocytes, and produce soluble factors associated with an immunologic response. Under normal conditions, microglial cells remain in a resting quiescent state lacking many of the effector functions whereas, in response to brain infection,
Infection, Genetics and Evolution – Elsevier
Published: Dec 1, 2013
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