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Virology. 2010 May 25;401(1):42-8. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2010.02.010. Epub 2010 Mar 5.

Melanoma differentiation-associated protein-5 (MDA-5) limits early viral replication but is not essential for the induction of type 1 interferons after Coxsackievirus infection.

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  • 1Center for Infectious Medicine F59, Department of Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge University Hospital, S-141 86 Stockholm, Sweden.


Coxsackievirus infections are associated with severe diseases such as myocarditis, meningitis and pancreatitis. To study the contribution of the intracellular viral sensor melanoma differentiation-associated protein-5 (MDA-5) in the host immune response to Coxsackievirus B3 (CVB3) we infected C57BL/6 and 129/SvJ mice lacking mda-5. Mice deficient in MDA-5 showed a dramatically increased susceptibility to CVB3 infection. The loss of MDA-5 allowed the virus to replicate faster, resulting in increased liver and pancreas damage and heightened mortality. MDA-5 was not absolutely required for the induction of type 1 interferons (IFNs), but essential for the production of maximal levels of systemic IFN-alpha early after infection. Taken together, our findings indicate that MDA-5 plays an important role in the host immune response to CVB3 by preventing early virus replication and limiting tissue pathology.

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