Genomic features of humoral immunity support tolerance model in Egyptian rousette bats

Bats asymptomatically harbor many viruses that can cause severe human diseases. The Egyptian rousette bat (ERB) is the only known reservoir for Marburgviruses and Sosuga virus, making it an exceptional animal model to study antiviral mechanisms in an asymptomatic host. With this goal in mind, we constructed and annotated the immunoglobulin heavy chain locus, finding an expansion on immunoglobulin variable genes associated with protective human antibodies to different viruses. We also annotated two functional and distinct immunoglobulin epsilon genes and four distinctive functional immunoglobulin gamma genes. We described the Fc receptor repertoire in ERBs, including features that may affect activation potential, and discovered the lack of evolutionary conserved short pentraxins. These findings reinforce the hypothesis that a differential threshold of regulation and/or absence of key immune mediators may promote tolerance and decrease inflammation in ERBs.

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