Send to

Choose Destination
Viruses. 2013 Jan 31;5(2):470-527. doi: 10.3390/v5020470.

Learning from the messengers: innate sensing of viruses and cytokine regulation of immunity - clues for treatments and vaccines.

Author information

Department of Infectious Diseases, Aarhus University Hospital, Skejby, Denmark.


Virus infections are a major global public health concern, and only via substantial knowledge of virus pathogenesis and antiviral immune responses can we develop and improve medical treatments, and preventive and therapeutic vaccines. Innate immunity and the shaping of efficient early immune responses are essential for control of viral infections. In order to trigger an efficient antiviral defense, the host senses the invading microbe via pattern recognition receptors (PRRs), recognizing distinct conserved pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs). The innate sensing of the invading virus results in intracellular signal transduction and subsequent production of interferons (IFNs) and proinflammatory cytokines. Cytokines, including IFNs and chemokines, are vital molecules of antiviral defense regulating cell activation, differentiation of cells, and, not least, exerting direct antiviral effects. Cytokines shape and modulate the immune response and IFNs are principle antiviral mediators initiating antiviral response through induction of antiviral proteins. In the present review, I describe and discuss the current knowledge on early virus-host interactions, focusing on early recognition of virus infection and the resulting expression of type I and type III IFNs, proinflammatory cytokines, and intracellular antiviral mediators. In addition, the review elucidates how targeted stimulation of innate sensors, such as toll-like receptors (TLRs) and intracellular RNA and DNA sensors, may be used therapeutically. Moreover, I present and discuss data showing how current antimicrobial therapies, including antibiotics and antiviral medication, may interfere with, or improve, immune response.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI) Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center