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Virology. 2011 Mar 15;411(2):170-9. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2010.11.023. Epub 2010 Dec 23.

Decoding arenavirus pathogenesis: essential roles for alpha-dystroglycan-virus interactions and the immune response.

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Department of Immunology & Microbial Science, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.


Pathogenesis following a virus infection results from interactions between the virus and its host. The outcome is determined by tipping the balance between virulence of the virus or susceptibility/resistance of the host to favor one or the other. This review focuses on two important members of the Old World arenavirus family: Lassa fever virus (LFV), a robust human pathogen that causes a severe acute hemorrhagic disease; and lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV), also a human pathogen but better known in the context of its rodent model. Research with this model has uncovered and illuminated many of our current concepts in immunobiology and viral pathogenesis. Presented here are recent advances that form the framework for a better understanding of how viruses induce and maintain persistent infection as well as for the pathogenesis associated with acute LFV infection. A major component for understanding the pathogenesis of these arenaviruses revolves around study of the interaction of virus with its receptor, alpha-dystroglycan (α-DG).

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