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Trends Mol Med. 2008 Jul;14(7):286-94. doi: 10.1016/j.molmed.2008.05.004. Epub 2008 Jun 6.

Immunological headgear: antiviral immune responses protect against neuroinvasive West Nile virus.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, 660 S. Euclid Ave, St Louis, MO 63110, USA.


With the emergence of epidemic strains of West Nile virus (WNV) in North America, there has been a surge in new research and knowledge regarding the peripheral immune responses that prevent neuroinvasion, the routes of WNV entry into the central nervous system (CNS) and the critical CNS immune responses that promote viral clearance and recovery at this anatomic site. WNV infection induces archetypal antiviral immune responses that, in most cases, lead to elimination of the virus with relatively few immunopathological consequences. Here, we present our current understanding of the innate and adaptive immune responses that limit dissemination to the CNS from WNV infection and the antiviral immune responses within the CNS that intervene when they fail.

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