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How can the rabies virus avoid white blood cells in the blood of a mammal?

1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Douglas Miller
Pathology

In brief: In nervous system

Rabies virus doesn't actually 'avoid' white blood cells, but when it is inside brain cells (having traveled to them from a bite site on the skin or in muscle) it can't be killed by white blood cells without also killing those cells.
The main route the virus takes isn't by blood, it is by following up the nerve cell axons, where it isn't seen much by wbcs. In the brain it does get a WBC reaction.

In brief: In nervous system

Rabies virus doesn't actually 'avoid' white blood cells, but when it is inside brain cells (having traveled to them from a bite site on the skin or in muscle) it can't be killed by white blood cells without also killing those cells.
The main route the virus takes isn't by blood, it is by following up the nerve cell axons, where it isn't seen much by wbcs. In the brain it does get a WBC reaction.
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