Neurotropic virus

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A neurotropic virus is a virus which is capable of infecting nerve cells, or which does so preferentially.[1]

Related terms include neuroinvasive (capable of entering or infecting the central nervous system, for example from the peripheral nervous system), and neurovirulent (capable of causing disease within the nervous system). By avoiding the bloodstream, neuroinvasive viruses are able to evade to a great extent the usual immune response and entrench themselves in the host body's nervous system. The most common neuroinvasive viruses are rabies, which has both high neuroinvasiveness and high neurovirulence, and herpes simplex virus, which has low neuroinvasiveness and high neurovirulence. Others, like poliovirus, can spread neurally, but primarily spread by hematogenous dissemination (that is, via the blood system).

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