In this article we show that fish can show a so-called ‘behavioural fever’ during a viral infection and that the mechanisms behind such behaviour are very conserved between fish and humans.
When warm blooded animals get infected by a virus, they develop fever symptoms. Increasing the body temperature will reduce virus growth. In contrast to warm blooded animals such as humans, fish cannot change their body temperature. Therefore, they swim to warmer waters as a way to fight the virus. However, herpesviruses block this defence mechanism.
In the article published in Cell host and microbes, we describe the mechanism behind the behaviour of the fish and how such behaviour is effective in stopping viral replication. Most importantly, we discovered a virus molecule that is able to interfere with such a mechanism.