Caister Academic Press

Viral Subversion of Humoral Immune Responses

Man Sun Law, Pietro Paolo Sanna and Dennis R. Burton
from: Microbial Subversion of Immunity: Current Topics (Edited by: Peter J. Lachmann and M.B.A. Oldstone). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2006)


Viruses are a group of hugely diverse organisms. Many viruses have developed strategies to subvert host immunity to enhance their fitness to propagate in a specific host. This review focuses on the strategies different viruses use to evade the humoral immune responses, with an emphasis on virus neutralizing antibodies (NAbs). The strategies used by viruses to subvert NAb responses targeting the virus surface (SU) proteins include (i) mutation by antigenic drift and shift, and recombination; (ii) masking of conserved epitopes; (iii) glycan shielding; (iv) SU protein decoys; (iv) original antigenic sin; (v) irregular SU protein spacing; and (vi) multiple SU proteins and virus forms. Viruses also evade humoral responses by spreading directly between cells, up-regulating and hijacking host complement regulatory proteins, encoding antagonistic Fc and complement receptors, and inducing immunosuppression. Understanding these mechanisms will provide valuable information for the design of anti-viral therapy and vaccines read more ...
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