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Future Virol. 2009 Jan 1;4(1):71-78.

Unraveling the complexities of the interferon response during SARS-CoV infection.

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1
Department of Virology, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Abstract

Viruses employ different strategies to circumvent the antiviral actions of the innate immune response. SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV), a virus that causes severe lung damage, encodes an array of proteins able to inhibit induction and signaling of type-I interferons. However, recent studies have demonstrated that interferons are produced during SARS-CoV infection in humans and macaques. Furthermore, nuclear translocation of activated STAT1 and a range of interferon-stimulated genes could be demonstrated in the lungs of SARS-CoV-infected macaques. In line with these observations, plasmacytoid dendritic cells have been shown to produce interferons upon SARS-CoV infection in vitro. Given the pivotal role of interferons during viral infections, (differential) induction of interferons may affect the outcome of the infection. Therefore, the functional implication of interferon production during SARS-CoV infection remains to be re-investigated.

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