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Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 2009 Mar 15;128(1-3):205-10. doi: 10.1016/j.vetimm.2008.10.296. Epub 2008 Oct 17.

Innate immune responses against foot-and-mouth disease virus: current understanding and future directions.

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Institute of Virology and Immunoprophylaxis, Sensemattstrasse 293, 3147 Mittelhäusern, Switzerland.


Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) represents one of the most economically important diseases of farm animals. The basis for the threat caused by this virus is the high speed of replication, short incubation time, high contagiousness, and high mutation rate resulting in constant antigenic changes. Thus, although protective immune responses against FMD virus (FMDV) can be efficacious, the rapidity of virus replication and spread can outpace immune defence development and overrun the immune system. FMDV can also evade innate immune responses through its ability to shut down cellular protein synthesis, including IFN type I, in susceptible epithelial cells. This is important for virus evolution, as FMDV is quite sensitive to the action of IFN. Despite this, innate immune responses are probably induced in vivo, although detailed studies on this subject are lacking. Accordingly, this interaction of FMDV with cells of the innate immune system is of particular interest. Dendritic cells (DC) can be infected by FMDV and support viral RNA replication, and viral protein synthesis but the latter is inefficient or abortive, leading most often to incomplete replication and progeny virus release. As a result DC can be activated, and particularly in the case of plasmacytoid DC (pDC), this is manifest in terms of IFN-alpha release. Our current state of knowledge on innate immune responses induced by FMDV is still only at a relatively early stage of understanding. As we progress, the investigations in this area will help to improve the design of current vaccines and the development of novel control strategies against FMD.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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