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Viruses. 2009;1(3):362.

The Natural Selection of Herpesviruses and Virus-Specific NK Cell Receptors.

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1
Department of Microbiology and Immunology and the Cancer Research Institute, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.

Abstract

During the co-evolution of cytomegalovirus (CMV) and natural killer (NK) cells, each has evolved specific tactics in an attempt to prevail. CMV has evolved multiple immune evasion mechanisms to avoid detection by NK cells and other immune cells, leading to chronic infection. Meanwhile, the host has evolved virus-specific receptors to counter these evasion strategies. The natural selection of viral genes and host receptors allows us to observe a unique molecular example of "survival of the fittest", as virus and immune cells try to out-maneuver one another or for the virus to achieve détente for optimal dissemination in the population.

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