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In this Opinion piece, I argue that the dynamics of viruses and the cellular immune response depend on the body size of the host. I use allometric scaling theory to interpret observed quantitative differences in the infection dynamics of lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) in mice (Mus musculus), simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) in rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in humans. However, additional data on the kinetics of virus replication and the dynamics of T cell responses in different host species will be required to shed more light on the question whether the nature of viral infections is affected by the body size of their hosts.
This manuscript was submitted as an Opinion piece to Frontiers in Microbiology on 19th January 2015.