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Nat Rev Immunol. 2005 Sep;5(9):675-87.

The yin and yang of type I interferon activity in bacterial infection.

Author information

1
Max F. Perutz Laboratories, University Departments at the Vienna Biocenter, Department of Microbiology and Immunobiology, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria. thomas.decker@univie.ac.at

Abstract

Interferons (IFNs) are cytokines that are important for immune responses, particularly to intracellular pathogens. They are divided into two structurally and functionally distinct types that interact with different cell-surface receptors. Classically, type I IFNs are potent antiviral immunoregulators, whereas the type II IFN enhances antibacterial immunity. However, as outlined here, type I IFNs are also produced in response to infection with other pathogens, and an increasing body of work shows that type I IFNs have an important role in the host response to bacterial infection. Strikingly, their activity can be either favourable or detrimental, and can influence various immune effector mechanisms.

PMID:
16110316
DOI:
10.1038/nri1684
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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