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Future Microbiol. 2012 Oct;7(10):1207-16. doi: 10.2217/fmb.12.96.

Manipulating intestinal immunity and microflora: an alternative solution to viral myocarditis?

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  • 1Institutes of Biology & Medical Sciences, Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Infection & Immunity, Soochow University, Suzhou 215123, China.


Viral myocarditis (VMC) is an important cause of heart failure and dilated cardiomyopathy with no effective clinical diagnosis and treatment, and has been commonly associated with Coxsackievirus B3 (CVB3) infection. Current evidence from CVB3 myocarditis in mice indicates that acute myocarditis is mainly mediated by the host immune responses, including Th1, Th17 and type I macrophages. Recently, innate immunity triggered by TLR3, TLR4, TLR8 and MDA5 has also been demonstrated to participate in the induction of inflammatory cytokines in response to CVB3. Apart from the heart tissue, the intestine, which is the assumed initial infection and important replication site for CVB3, needs to be investigated, where induction of innate immunity and interactions with microflora may shape the immune response involved in the pathogenesis of VMC. This review presents recent advances in research into innate and adaptive immunity to CVB3, and provides insights into developing new strategies for the future treatment for VMC.

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