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PLoS One. 2009 May 21;4(5):e5659. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0005659.

Immunosuppression during acute infection with foot-and-mouth disease virus in swine is mediated by IL-10.

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Centro de Investigación en Sanidad Animal, INIA,Valdeolmos, Madrid, Spain.


Foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) is one of the most contagious animal viruses, causing a devastating disease in cloven-hoofed animals with enormous economic consequences. Identification of the different parameters involved in the immune response elicited against FMDV remains unclear, and it is fundamental the understanding of such parameters before effective control measures can be put in place. In the present study, we show that interleukin-10 (IL-10) production by dendritic cells (DCs) is drastically increased during acute infection with FMDV in swine. In vitro blockade of IL-10 with a neutralizing antibody against porcine IL-10 restores T cell activation by DCs. Additionally, we describe that FMDV infects DC precursors and interferes with DC maturation and antigen presentation capacity. Thus, we propose a new mechanism of virus immunity in which a non-persistent virus, FMDV, induces immunosuppression by an increment in the production of IL-10, which in turn, reduces T cell function. This reduction of T cell activity may result in a more potent induction of neutralizing antibody responses, clearing the viral infection.

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