Caister Academic Press

Influenza virus and interferons

Gijs A. Versteeg and Adolfo García-Sastre
from: Viruses and Interferon: Current Research (Edited by: Karen Mossman). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2011)


Influenza viruses are the etiological agents of seasonal influenza outbreaks as well as three devastating influenza pandemics in the 20th century and the 2009 swine-origin H1N1 pandemic. Like most viruses that cause significant disease, influenza viruses have developed means to circumvent the induction and effects of the innate immune system. Unlike most other RNA viruses, influenza viruses replicate in the nucleus, rather than in the cytoplasm. This distinguishing feature makes the interactions of influenza viruses with their hosts both complex and unique, and requires a well-orchestrated manipulation of many cellular processes. This includes the interferon (IFN) response, a key innate immune pathway, critical for limiting virus replication. To cope with the IFN burden, influenza viruses express non-structural protein 1 (NS1), which is largely dedicated to antagonism of the host IFN response. This chapter describes how influenza viruses induce the IFN response and the ample means they have developed to intersect with it at all three stages of the pathway. The molecular details of NS1-mediated IFN antagonism are discussed, as well as new vaccination and antiviral drug strategies that target NS1 to attenuate virus replication read more ...
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