Genetic Resistance to Coronavirus Infection

A Review
  • Ellen Buschman
  • Emil Skamene
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 380)


Much information on the mechanisms of host genetic resistance to viral infections has come from research on the coronaviruses, particularly on the mouse hepatitis viruses (MHV). One of the fundamental observations made by Bang and co-workers some thirty years ago was that MHV infection of the host proceeds in a series of stages, which can be seen as three sequential barriers of host resistance1–3. These stages have also become the key to dissecting the genetic control of host resistance to coronaviruses. The first stage is the presence or absence of a specific cellular receptor which controls viral entry. Once the virus has gained entry, factors expressed by the host cells will then restrict or permit viral growth and acute disease. Finally, the humoral and cellular defenses of the host’s immune system will determine whether the virus is eliminated or disseminated and a chronic disease is established. In this chapter, we have organized our review of genetic resistance to coronaviruses according to these three host resistance mechanisms: genetic control at the level of cellular receptors, genetic control at the level of the macrophage, and genetic control at the level of acquired immunity. However, we would like to stress that these ‘levels’ are purely operational boundaries. In reality, a host can be infected with a virus several times during its lifetime, and thus all available innate and immune resistance mechanisms will be called into play at once. In addition, we have included a general outline of the methods used to identify host resistance genes in mouse models of infection. Those interested in a more complete explanation of genetic analysis can refer to recent articles on this subject4,5.


Recombinant Inbred Genetic Resistance Recombinant Inbred Strain Susceptible Mouse Mouse Hepatitis Virus 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ellen Buschman
    • 1
  • Emil Skamene
    • 1
  1. 1.McGill Centre for the Study of Host ResistanceMontreal General HospitalMontrealCanada

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